Best Initiative to Deliver Social Value through Procurement

New Kaupapa Māori Primary (Community) Mental Health and Addiction Services Procurement, Ministry of Health (New Zealand)

In 2020, data gathered by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health raised concerns that mental health afflictions were disproportionately impacting the Māori population. Traditional “western-clinical” approaches to services were not delivering improved outcomes and, as such, it was discovered that the needs of the Māori people had fallen well below acceptable standards.

In response to these findings, the Ministry of Health chose to adopt an innovative Kaupapa Māori and indigenous approach to sourcing, aimed at reducing the administrative burden on Māori respondents by placing greater focus on korero (discussions) and direct engagement in place of written proposals.

The team went on to develop and implement a Tikanga Māori informed procurement approach, weaving in elements of Tikanga Māori (Māori protocols, processes, language and rituals that recognised Māori world views), while still conforming with New Zealand Government Procurement Rules.

Working with key senior Māori advisors was integral throughout the approach, design and ongoing fine-tuning, particularly in terms of Māori cultural practices, engagement and communication with the Māori sector stakeholders.

The most challenging aspects of the project ranged from major considerations, such as ensuring the engagement innovation delivered genuine cultural respect, through to key logistical challenges related to video-submission and the complexities surrounding Covid-19.

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