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.