Since Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was first established eight years ago, the Whānau Ora network has steadily grown, and we are now proud to be part of a strong and vibrant community that stretches across Te Waipounamu, Rakiura and Wharekauri/Rēkohu. With all of the amazing things happening throughout the motu, it seems to us that Whānau Ora surely must be a household name by now.
However, in the course of their daily mahi our kaimahi often find themselves attending hui and being asked to explain the Whānau Ora approach to people who have never heard of it. The good news is that everyone is always impressed and excited to hear about this approach that is giving whānau the power to be the creators of their own success. The not-so-good news is that there are still many government departments and organisations out there that are yet to understand the potential of Whānau Ora and create opportunities for partnership.
This prompts us to think about how we can do a better job of getting the Whānau Ora story out there – to celebrate our successes and demonstrate what is possible when we harness the potential of our network.
Part of that includes making it clear what partnership means: it’s about meeting us halfway, recognising what we do well and working with us instead of trying to duplicate our services elsewhere.
The reach and effectiveness of our NavNation, the network of 124 Whānau Ora Navigators, comes from the fact that they are situated in the heart of our hapori, plugged into the Whānau Ora network and directly connected to the communities they serve. Other agencies simply cannot replicate their success by creating new roles and labelling them “navigators”.
As Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu continues to grow, and the Whānau Ora network strengthens its role across the motu, we will continue to welcome partnerships with any organisation who recognises the power of the Whānau Ora approach and is truly committed to working with us to create better outcomes for whānau.