“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” – Michael Korda.

Momentum is a powerful concept. We have all experienced it in one form or another – such as in a vehicle that picks up speed, an opportunity that becomes a dream, or the realisation of an aspiration. Since its inception, Whānau Ora has been steadily building momentum. With each milestone achieved, we set our sights upon the next, determined that we will one day achieve our ultimate goal: wellbeing and prosperity for all whānau in Aotearoa.

Whānau Ora was created in 2010 under the korowai of our beloved Dame Tariana Turia, whose vision was to create a Māori approach to health and social services that would put whānau at the centre of change. It was a revolutionary approach that totally upended traditional methods of delivery, and gave whānau the tools to fulfil their dreams and aspirations – on their own terms.

In its first the years, the momentum of Whānau Ora grew, through investment in kaupapa Māori providers, and cross-government relationships that embraced the new approach. In 2014, the model continued to evolve and momentum continued to grow, with the establishment of the three Whānau Ora Commissioning agencies that would bring the pūtea closer to the communities that need it, giving whānau the opportunity to create their own solutions.

Since then, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu – the commissioning agency for the South Island – has kept up the momentum. We have always been determined to find new ways to support whānau, and to work with our Whānau Ora partners – to find new funding streams, to create new opportunities, and to encourage more whānau to dream.

Budget Day is always a significant occasion for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, as we wait to hear if our funding will be continued. Yesterday we were delighted that Budget 2022 affirmed the Whānau Ora approach, by including in our ongoing baseline funding the extra $8m per year that was allocated to Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu for COVID-19 response. This is great news for our crucial Whānau Ora Navigation workforce, and our Whānau Ora Partners, as we will now be able to provide continuity of this much-needed service which of course has flow on effects for whānau.

In response to Budget 2022, we now want to place particular focus on health funding, family and sexual violence prevention and Ngā Tini Whetū (early intervention funding through ACC, Te Puni Kōkiri and Oranga Tamariki). We will be targeting these agencies to ensure that Whānau Ora Partners and Navigators are able to benefit from these funds. We will continue to build on the momentum created thus far and let you know how we get on or better still, you tell us how we are doing.

Awhina Akurangi, Chris Rosenbrock and Te Aroha McCallum.

Hygiene packs distributed in Otago

This week the NavNation has continued to deliver, with shipments of hygiene packs distributed throughout the motu. Pictured below is Whānau Ora Navigator Awhina Akurangi from Tumai Ora, delivering hygiene packs to the Aukaha offices in Ōtepoti. Most of these hygiene packs are targeted at whānau self-isolating with COVID-19, while others will be circulated at local kura and kōhanga to distribute amongst their whānau.

Tama Ora panel assessments

Tama Ora was created through the partnership of Ihi Aotearoa, Sport New Zealand and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to increase the engagement of rangatahi and tamariki in physical activity. This week the panel for Tama Ora gathered to assess applications that were received from whānau throughout Te Waipounamu. There were a range of different activities that were identified including mainstream sports, taonga tākaro and mahi a te rehia. As with any year, the panel members worked collaboratively and utilised their individual strengths to make decisions about the applications.

Members of the panel included Te Matau Flanagan who was key in identifying and highlighting the alignment to te ao Māori and represented the rangatahi voice. Lawrence Tau bought his skills and expertise from Tū Manawa to assess the sustainability of the kaupapa.

Brooke Parker, a passionate rangatahi who is consistently engaged in numerous physical activities was also on the panel as a representative for the rangatahi voice. Jasmine Taipana, who joined us from the first Tama Ora panel held in 2021 also played a vital role in utilising her matauranga of costings associated with engagement in physical activity. The panel welcomed Bowman Diaz from Sport Canterbury to the panel as an observer to support his own professional development and growth. The recommendations will be forwarded for approval and the successful applicants will be advised soon. Exciting!

Check out photos from two of our existing Tama Ora kaupapa, Kaiawa Touch and HCC Fitness.

Pink Shirt Day at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

On Friday our kaimahi celebrated Pink Shirt Day, raising funds and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation in their campaign to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces, schools and communities. Of course, we put our own unique spin on the day with our office-based kaimahi coming dressed head to toe in pink, and those working at home finding ways to decorate their whare in pink.

Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 when two high school students in Canada started a global movement against homophobia, to support a peer who had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt. To donate to this amazing cause, visit the Mental Health Foundation’s website.