They say that progress is never linear, and that has certainly felt true this week with the whirlwind abolishment of Te Aka Whai Ora, the Māori Health Authority. In a mere day, our Government dismantled all of the hard work that has been achieved in the 18 months since Te Aka Whai Ora was first established – to say nothing of the many years of campaigning and advocacy that led to its creation in the first place.   

I suppose it is not exactly a surprise, given that all three coalition partners campaigned on their intention to get rid of Te Aka Whai Ora, but I do not think anyone was truly prepared for how quickly it would happen. Parliament went into urgency this week so the Government could rush through legislation as part of its 100-day plan, including the Pae Ora (Disestablishment of Māori Health Authority) Amendment Bill that was introduced by Minister of Health, Dr Shane Reti. By the end of the day, it had been passed with 68 votes for and 54 against, and by the end of June it will be formally disestablished and its staff and services will be absorbed into Te Whatu Ora, the mainstream health system.  

This is an alarming prospect, and one that more than 700 doctors protested in a letter sent to the Minister of Health. It is no secret that Māori do not fare well within mainstream systems, as seen by our disproportionate representation in negative statistics for health outcomes, as well as education, criminal justice, employment and more. This is why it was such a cause for celebration when Te Aka Whai Ora was first introduced! 

I remember writing about it in this blog, calling it “a new future for health”. At the time we were truly delighted by the opportunity to be part of a Māori-led initiative whose sole focus would be improving health outcomes for Māori across Aotearoa.  

It is without a doubt a massive blow to see that work undone, and especially to face the reality that our Government seems to view Māori outcomes as expendable. However, this only makes the work of Whānau Ora even more important than ever. Although we were excited to be working alongside Te Aka Whai Ora, we can – and will – ensure that we are part of whatever new approach to Māori health replaces it.  

When introducing the bill earlier this week, Minister Reti stated that: “There is organisational expertise in the Māori Health Authority, and I want to retain that. I say to Māori Health Authority staff to please join me, guide me, and help us together to row a different waka towards better health outcomes.” We intend to hold him to this, and to play our part in advocating for whānau across the country and a system that truly represents their best interests – and in ensuring that we do have a new future for health, one way or another. 


The Growing Demand for Whānau Ora Navigators

Closer to home, this week found us at an online hui with Te Taumata, with Gena Moses-Te Kani and Taku Parai as Co-chairs, and the General Partner Limited Board, chaired by Mark Solomon, in which we discussed a number of issues including the growing demand for Whānau Ora Navigators, the pressures associated with their mahi, the desire of Te Taumata for whānau to move from crisis to a more aspirational space, the visibility of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and celebrations for the upcoming ten-year anniversary of the commissioning agency. It was a full-on day! 

Ati, Ivy, Sam and Vanessa at Salesforce World Tour at the ICC Convention Centre in Sydney.

Sales Force World Tour

The next morning, a small group of kaimahi headed away to attend the Salesforce World Tour at the ICC Convention Centre in Sydney. For some years now, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu sought to find a customer relationship system (CRM) (renamed by us as a Whānau Relationship Management system (WRM)). Such a system allows businesses to manage information about their relationships with partners in a central location including contact and account information, communication and strategic plans and such information across the years.

With the data and information in one platform rather than spread across a couple of systems, we will be able to have a complete picture of all of our partners and the whānau initiatives that we have supported in one place. This information can be shared and analysed by teams across the organisation in real time. While we have this information now, it is held in a couple of places and can be time-consuming to get the information we need quickly.   

The ICC Convention Centre, Sydney.

Kaitaki Kahukura Tari – Operations Manager, Ati Vili and Manukura Kaitātari Kōrero – Data and Information Manager, Sam Selwyn have led the kaupapa to find a new system and have been working with Laszlo Csite of 356tuned to identify one fit for our needs.  

Sam explains “Our visit to the Salesforce headquarters further enhanced our understanding and allowed us to explore the Salesforce products. The insights gathered from the event and the headquarters visit are invaluable as we implement the Salesforce solutions to better support our whānau in telling the whānau ora story.

Some key highlights underscore the technology and data solutions that enhance data integration and operational utilisation to be more productive and transform the experiences using connected data.”


The day was incredible from the time you entered the venue to when you departed. There were so many presentations from users of the system who shared their journey, to panels discussing the intricacies of trust, data consent and privacy, to using AI and guiding principles around its use. To see that AI can be used in a positive light to do the tedious work that we repeat every day, so we can spend more time with what matters. Ati described it like “speed dating, except this was speed hui, to catch all the presenters and keynote speakers.”  

The relationship we have built with Tupu Toa and 360tuned enabled us to understand the value of such a summit, that was filled with energy, information and incredible technology and stories that we could relate to. The networking opportunities allowed us to connect further with others in the Salesforce ecosystem to enable us to grow further in our WRM journey. Sam and Ati met with members of the Sydney Salesforce team and were able to scale their relationship to new heights – 51 floors to be exact! While Ati basked whilst overlooking the view, Sam was not so convinced and preferred being closer to ground level. We shall share more of our WRM journey over the coming months. 

Have a great week koutou. 

Mauri ora