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Tokoroa Home Visiting pilot project launch

Hon Tariana Turia
Monday 4 March 2002

Tokoroa Home Visiting pilot project launch


I would like to thank you for inviting me here today to launch your new home visiting service.

This is an exciting time for Tokoroa and Mangakino because it is an opportunity to take a government-born initiative, in which your two towns have won the tender, to deliver this service and make it your own and make it work for the families.

It is an opportunity to work with central government and deliver on the outcomes of the project, in a way that you know it can work.

I understand already, that many of you have been involved in the development of what the service is to deliver. I view this as a whanau or family development approach involving the Raukawa Trust Board, South Waikato Pacific Island Health Committee and Health Waikato.

Each organisation has a role to play at each level of the service and I hope relationships have been developed, based on good faith, honesty and integrity.

The success of integrated services depends on the relationships that exist between and within those orgnisations and families involved.

It is imperative that quality relationships are maintained and operate in an open, transparent and mutually respectful way or the quality of the services will inevitably fall.

It must also be acknowledged by all those participating, that while some organisations may wield more so-called power, or may be bigger than others, that doesn't always equate with better quality, more skill or more effectiveness.

In this case we have a DHB, an iwi and a Pacific Island Committee. Each group brings to the relationship, specific qualities and expertise, which must be utilised and respected.

It does not need everybody to become skilled at working with iwi, or Pacific nations people, or clinical settings or management roles. It requires a collective responsibility to respect each others worldviews, as valid and important.

I understand that Ngati Raukawa are also seeking a governance relationship with the Waikato DHB rather than being a member of an iwi council. Iwi make their own decisions, as to how they will progress their development and their own governance relationships with DHBs around the country and this is a positive sign of genuine partnership as intended in the new system and identified in the legislation.

I believe in this DHB rohe, some iwi have chosen to form an iwi council to fulfil their responsibilities and obligations as manawhenua. I also understand Ngati Raukawa has made the decision to pursue, as is their right, a direct governance relationship with Waikato DHB.

I look forward to hearing the progress on how both partners are working together, to develop this new dynamic and exciting relationship.

While these challenges cannot be underestimated, I know it can work.

During the length of the home visiting pilot, there will be barriers to overcome and difficulties to face, especially because it was not grown out of the community in which it is to exist.

What must always remain fresh in the minds of the community, is that this service has the potential to assist many families here and in Mangakino.

Whanau is the primary social institution for tangata whenua. It is the basis from which other forms of whakapapa based social institutions, such as hapu and iwi emanate. It is at the core of tangata whenua social structures.

Working within empowering frameworks will ensure that whanau can contribute to a strong dynamic society. It is at the whanau level where the untapped potential for positive development and change is to be found.

The flow on effect to hapu and iwi and of course the society at large starts with the whanau which provides the base from which its individual members add value for the good of the society.

I believe the strengthening of our whanau, our families is the most critical development issue we are facing today.

The principles of whanau development will only make sense if it is undertaken with indigenous cultural traditions.

I am sure that everybody will agree, that supporting families is about affirming their strengths in a positive way. I am sure you will also agree, that as their strength grows, so to, does their confidence, capacity and their security.

What we are working toward, is an environment where families drive their own development.

I understand the objective of the Home Visiting Service pilot is to deliver services to high needs families to work towards that very goal. I am told the aims are to:

„h Improve health outcomes through the provision of information, health education, community support, advocacy and assisted access to existing services.
„h Promote improved collaboration between services such as education, welfare and housing that will impact positively on health.
„h Promote community involvement and co-ordination across all sectors that impact on the health and wellbeing, of the whole community.
„h Encourage and assist local community providers to respond appropriately and effectively, to the needs of their community.

It is the opportunity for you, as a community to deliver services, in the way that will benefit families and this requires you to spend as much time looking at yourselves and your services as it does focusing on the families.

I understand that Raukawa Trust Board is currently involved in service development and staff training and that services are to commence immediately in Tokoroa and for the Mangakino community, services will be underway in May 2002, following the completion of the community consultation process.

It is great to see that services will be accessible by primarily delivering them in home-based settings.

It is also pleasing for me to see there is an associated strategy of training and workforce development alongside the pilot. It is important that communities have the necessary skills to do the job, so that they are not set up to fail. That staff are likely to come from a range of professional and community work backgrounds and therefore already have experience is also very useful.

The list of aspirations is admirable.

„h To improve child and youth health and development,
„h Educational and social outcomes,
„h Health, social, educational and employment outcomes for adults and older people,
„h Improved health outcomes for whanau, hapu and iwi,
„h Improved health outcomes for our Pacific cousins.

It must be remembered that this kind of service, has grown out of the unsuccessful attempts in the past, to provide the services people needed, through mechanisms and in ways, that were unfamiliar to them. Services delivered to communities, through vehicles which they had not seen, let alone been willing to drive, or be a passenger.

The innovative inclusion of iwi and Pacific people in developing and delivering services, is necessary for any chance of wide-ranging success.

The intersectorial nature of this project will focus on addressing the social determinants of health and promote co-ordination with existing health and social services.

It is an example of the government keeping its word to provide opportunities for whanau, hapu, iwi and our Pacific relations to build their capacity to participate, by supporting workforce development and reducing inequalities.

As the rural based site for the two pilot projects, (with the other site the urban setting of Mangere), you are in a unique position. What you experience during the length of this pilot and the successes and learning that you gain, could be used to develop programmes for other rural communities.

Your ability and skill to overcome barriers and identify practices that are successful, learn from the families and communities, will be vital in the development of a programme that could benefit many other families in many other communities. I look forward to hearing of your progress.

I wish you all the very best, as we launch today your new Home Visiting Service.

Na reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, katoa.


Note: Background information attached
Background information

1. When was the home visiting service devised?

Development of the concept began when the Ministry of Health was given approval to begin work in October 2000. The Tokoroa pilot has been developed by the Ministry of Health, in partnership, with the Waikato District Health Board.

2. How do the community workers decide which families to visit?

There is no formal referral process. The pilot service is voluntary which means it is up to individual members of the community to decide if they want to use the services on offer. The provider will make every effort to offer the service to those most in need.

As well as home visiting there will be community education sessions run on a broad range of health promotion, social and educational topics.

3. How much does it cost users?

It's a free service for those most in need.

4. What other home based visiting strategies have been used in New Zealand?

Parents as First Teachers, Early Start, Family Start and First Years of Life - these four services see a mix of home visitors making house calls to families with young children. The Tokoroa home visiting service will benefit all age groups.

5. Who are the community workers?

The Raukawa Trust Board community workers will come from a variety of backgrounds. They could be nurses, social workers, parents or other people in the community who will all go through the training required for this pilot. They will have a range of skills and experience but will be employed mostly for their ability to develop effective relationships.

Raukawa Trust Board staff are currently taking part in training courses targeted at community workers being developed by Waikato Institute of Technology.


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