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Assessing the health needs of Whānau in West Auckland

Assessing the health needs of Whānau in West Auckland

A report on the health needs of West Auckland has revealed Whānau Centre delivers services to a young, high needs population who are frequent users of hospital emergency departments and mental health services.

The Whānau Centre Health Needs Assessment profiled the health needs of more than 8000 whānau who were enrolled at Whānau Centre from July 2014 to December 2015.

Released today after the Te Whānau o Waipareira Board and Waitemata District Health Board Hui, the report covers a range of areas including demographic indicators, determinants of health, health status and service utilisation within Whānau Centre.

Commissioned as part of the Ngā Pou o Te Whare o Waipareira Collective Impact Initiative, this report represents a key outcome of the collaboration between Waipareira, the Nirvana Health Group, and Waitemata District Health Board.

“The report shows that appropriate services for our West Auckland youth are a huge priority,” said Dr John Huakau, Senior Epidemiologist for Wai Research (

“The report also highlights that there is a major requirement for better preventive services for youth and adults with a particular focus on appropriate Kaupapa Māori mental health services.”

The report reveals:

• The age-standardised emergency department attendance rate for whānau was 50,700 per 100,000 - over two-and-a-half times the attendance rate for Waitemata District Health Board as a whole.

• The majority (52%) of whānau were Māori and most (55%) were aged under 25, with particularly large numbers of 10 to 19 year olds.

• Almost 80% of whānau accessed only a single Whānau Centre service. Around 20% used more than one service, of which approximately 10% used three or more services.

• Whānau use of mental health services was almost six times higher compared with Waitemata District Health Board for the youth (0-19 years) and adults (20-64 years), and over three times higher for older adults (aged 65 years and above).

Whānau Centre brings together the Waipareira Whānau Ora services (a broad range of health, social, education, justice and employment services) and other co-located external services including Nirvana Health Group’s Wai Health General Practice, and Waitemata District Health Board’s diabetes and paediatrics secondary services.

The Health Needs Assessment report is available in hardcopy upon request, and electronically accessed from Te Whānau o Waipareira website (

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