Whānau Ora in the South Island

Whānau Ora recognises the collective strength and capability of whānau to achieve better outcomes in areas such as health, education, housing, employment and income levels. Iwi and the Crown have agreed to a shared Whānau Ora Outcomes Framework to guide their work to improve outcomes for whānau.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a limited partnership entrusted by the Crown and owned by the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu through a Participants Council known as Te Taumata. Te Taumata acts as guardians for the kaupapa of Whānau Ora in Te Waipounamu.  As a legal partnership of Ngā Iwi o Te Waipounamu it is the first time that the nine iwi have come together for a common cause. In this sense, it is trail-blazing a new model.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu operates a capability development model of commissioning. The capability development model aims to build the ability of whānau to respond positively to the challenges and opportunities within their lives.  Traditional models of social intervention for Māori have been heavily institutionalized, determined by knowledge and expertise external to the whānau. The purpose of commissioning whānau directly is to enable whānau to be self–reliant rather than dependent on state intervention. The model aligns with Māori values supporting transformation through self–determination.

Commissioning allows for the devolution of funding and decision making from central government so that the response to real whānau aspirations is genuine and effective. Not only does commissioning allow for a more direct relationship with whānau in the context of Whānau Ora, it places whānau at the center of their own pathways towards prosperity (Leahy, 2018).


Research and Innovation

Our research and innovation workstream has access to a wide range of expertise to ensure the latest quantitative and qualitative data and knowledge base informs the strategies and approaches provided by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu when working with and for whānau.

Whānau-Centred initiatives

The Taskforce on Whānau Centred Initiatives, led by Professor Sir Mason Durie, agreed to a number of factors which gave definition to Whānau Ora.  Whānau Ora is distinctive because

  • It recognises a collective entity,

  • Endorses a group capacity for self-determination,

  • Has an inter-generational dynamic,

  • Is built on a Maori cultural foundation,

  • Asserts a positive role for whānau within society and

  • Can be applied across a wide range of social and economic sectors

Whānau Ora recognises the strengths and abilities that exist within whānau and aims to support and develop opportunities that fulfil potential. Whānau Ora is defined by whānau; whānau self-determination is central to the approach.   By its very nature, Whānau Ora is collective in its scope and inter-generational in its impact.

Whanau Ora Taskforce Report

The Whānau-Centred Approach

  • Starts by asking whānau what they want to achieve for themselves, and then responding to those aspirations in order to realise their potential

  • Provides flexible support for whānau to move beyond crisis into identifying and achieving medium and long-term goals for sustained change

  • Focuses on relationships, self-determination and capability building for whānau to achieve positive long-term outcomes

  • Uses a joined up approach that focuses on all factors relevant to whānau wellness, including economic, cultural, environmental factors, as well as social factors

  • Recognise that each whānau has a different set of circumstances, and what works well for one whānau does not work well for other whānau

  • Recognises that whānau have skills, knowledge and experiences that contribute to their own resilience, and can provide a platform for whānau to become more self-managing and independent.

Graphic Reference: Te Puni Kokiri

Graphic Reference: Te Puni Kokiri