WHĀNAU ORA INITIATIVES PROVE EFFECTIVE AT MEETING THE NEEDS OF MĀORI COMMUNITIES

The goals of Whānau Ora are being realised through innovative initiatives supported by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.   The organisation is one of three national commissioning entities contracted by Government to directly invest in flexible and innovative approaches to meet the needs and aspirations of whānau.

Today they were hosts to the Whanau Ora panel who kicked off its review of the commissioning approach in Christchurch.  Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu works on behalf of the iwi in the South Island and is enabling inter-generational wellbeing through its support of whānau-based initiatives.

More than 140 initiatives have been established since the agency was launched in 2014. They have also invested in  50 Whānau Ora Navigators who have specialist skills to work with whānau with high and complex needs across the South Island.

Christchurch based Ihi Research has analysed the initiatives funded through the first six waves of the commissioning pipeline, concluding that Whānau Ora goals are being realised through a whānau led approach.

Analysis of the initiatives showed that whānau used their experience to maximise the opportunity to make a difference in an area which they have knowledge and skills.

They worked in a strengths-based way to bring about change for whānau and create opportunities for social and cultural connection and make a difference for their tamariki and mokopuna.

The most recent initiatives were focused on whenua, cultural and te reo revitalisation, marae and community, disability advocacy and community, whānau resilience, well-being, and enterprise.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu chief executive Helen Leahy said: “The whānau entities are achieving the goals they set, the activities align with the intention of Whānau Ora and there is a significant positive impact for whānau”.

“Whanau Ora initiatives contribute to current understandings of economic and social wellbeing through a collective, ancestral, or Māori way of living; providing an opportunity for new indigenous systems and networked approaches.”

She explained the organisation is the realisation of an iwi led Whānau Ora model that directly invests in whanau for social impact and to bring about positive change.

“The capability development model intends to build the ability of whānau to respond positively to the challenges and opportunities within their lives”.

“It’s about enabling whānau to realise their aspirations by harnessing the strengths and skills they already have”.

“The commissioning model is designed to be economically efficient and capable of generating long-term transformative change with a lower investment than traditional service delivery.”

Ihi Research director and researcher Dr. Catherine Savage said a feature of the initiatives is that the impact is wide and varied across the system.

“It is challenging to quantify or measure all the capability being built through the commissioning approach. The outcome may be a new enterprise, a healthy tāne living free from drugs, or a whānau committing to learning te reo for their pēpi.”

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Whanau Ora review panel were hosted by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu team on Friday at their offices in Christchurch.
Left to right Kim Ngarimu, Brenda Steele, Donna Matahaere –Atariki, Caren Rangi, Tania Hodges, Te Rau Kupenga.

 

BACKGROUND

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a partnership between the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu; Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Rangitāne and Ngāti Rārua. It was formed in March 2014 as a legal partnership to reflect the aspirations of Te Waipounamu iwi for whānau.

Each commissioning agency works with local partners, providers and navigators to deliver a coordinated service based on the needs and aspirations of whānau.

Whānau Ora is a culturally anchored approach that supports whānau and families to achieve their aspirations in life. It places whānau at the centre of decision making and supports them to build a more prosperous future.

Previous evaluations have demonstrated the commissioning approach achieves significant social outcomes and value for money.

Whānau outcomes will be met when whānau are: self-managing; living healthy lifestyles; participating fully in society; confidently participating in Te Ao Māori; economically secure and successfully involved in wealth creation; and cohesive, resilient and nurturing.

It empowers whānau and families as a whole, rather than separately focusing on individual family members and their problems.

It also requires multiple Government agencies to work together with whānau and families rather than separately with individual family members.

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