Whānau Ora: The WOW Factor

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is pleased to receive advice yesterday from the Minister for Whānau Ora advising that he has received the report from the Whānau Ora Review, and it is clear “that Whānau Ora works”.

“This is wonderful news which resonates with our experience that sustainable, positive social change is occurring as a result of Whānau Ora. Our model aims to enable a holistic approach to wellbeing, and provides direct impact for whānau to enable independent transformational change,” said Trevor Taylor, Chairperson of the General Partner Limited Board for Te Pūtahitanga.

“Whānau Ora recognises the strengths and abilities that exist within whānau and aims to support and develop opportunities that fulfil potential, and enable whānau to be self-determining.   By its very nature, Whānau Ora is collective in its scope and inter-generational in its impact and now we have a solid body of evidence that demonstrates this,”  said Mr Taylor.

Whānau Ora initiatives are contributing to economic and social wellbeing, through a collective, ancestral or Māori way of living, focussed on whenua, cultural and te reo revitalisation on marae and community, disability advocacy, whānau resilience and enterprise.

The confidence of the Minister in the Whānau Ora approach will be welcome news for the 170 whānau entities that have been supported through the commissioning approach.  From supporting whānau with lunches in schools, to growing whānau business skills, and creating employment pathways for those living with disabilities, these entities are proving vital to their whānau and their communities. 

“Our whānau entities are highly innovative and often ahead of the evidence curve,” said Helen Leahy, Pouārahi / Chief Executive.

This news will also be welcomed by the 2000 whānau members working with Whānau Ora Navigators across Te Waipounamu. Navigators are having a significant impact for whānau in Te Waipounamu, particularly those whānau with complex needs.

Navigators mix of practical and emotional support provides real benefits for families. Indicators show navigators have increased proportions of families with employment, formal qualifications and warm homes whilst also increasing whānau  satisfaction and ability to find support.

 “We are proud that the seven Whānau Ora pou (wellbeing outcomes) are being achieved. We know too that as a result of the investment there is increased social cohesion and strong local networks, benefitting the health and wellbeing of whānau,” says Ms Leahy.

 “Our board and our team sincerely thank all of the whānau who have supported us by generously giving their time to take part in the review, to help demonstrate the impact Te Pūtahitanga is having across Te Waipounamu.

“We welcome the opportunity to continue to support positive whānau transformation and are hopeful that the report will have identified ways in which to encourage wider government ownership and commitment to Whānau Ora.

“We look forward to receiving a copy of the final report presented from the Whānau Ora Review Panel before it goes to Cabinet in December. Before then, we might have to invest in a t-shirt proclaiming “Whānau Ora Works” – or as we say in the South, ‘Whānau Ora – it’s all about investing in the WOW factor,” ends Ms Leahy.

Photo: Minister of Whānau Ora, Peeni Henare with Pari Hunt, Navigator Coordinator, Te Pūtahitanga.

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