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Mangere Home Visiting Service - launch

15 July 2002
Hon Tariana Turia
Speech Notes

Mangere Home Visiting Service - launch

E nga iwi, e nga reo, tena koutou katoa.

It is a real pleasure to be here today, to support what I think is a very important initiative.

We all know people in our communities who need health services, or help to overcome their disabilities. We also know that services are offered – but access can be a problem.

The aim of the Mangere Home Visiting Service is to bring the two together, to make sure that the services reach those most in need, who are often the very people who miss out most often.

So, first and foremost, this service will be important for your clients. We must never forget that they are the reason why this project has been set up.

By visiting people at home, you get to meet the whole whanau, and involve and empower them in caring for each other. Everyone gets to learn about the support services that are available close at hand. Everyone learns about prevention and management of illness, and how to promote good health.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see what a difference you can make in the lives of your clients and their whanau.

The home visiting service is also important because it integrates service delivery.

While the service is funded from the health budget, the approach recognises that good health or ‘wellness’ depends on many factors. A person’s health can be affected by a lack of information or knowledge, poor housing, difficult family circumstances, language differences, unemployment, and so on.

One key way the home visiting service can improve health of individuals, is to improve co-ordination among agencies. This will benefit the whole community, not just your current clients.

It’s about networking, sharing information and resources, communication and liaison, exchanging contacts, so each support agency is aware of what the other is doing, and how it’s doing it.

If this is happening among community groups, then the whole community is stronger. The home visiting service is community development in action. That’s another reason I am pleased to be here in support.

I’m interested to see that the home visiting service is to be managed by a joint venture between Turuki Healthcare and South Seas Health Care. This part of the structure represents in an important way, a partnership between the tangata whenua o tenei motu, and our relations from Hawaiki, across te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

No reira tena koe e te rangatira Va’ainga Tuigamala, koutou ko to iwi, ko nga iwi Maori huri noa. It is good to build on our ancestral and cultural relationships. Too often, we are seen by others, and we even see each other, as competitors for a place in the sun.

When this happens, I know something has gone wrong. That is not the tikanga handed down by our old people. When we cannot acknowledge our relationships as Maori, we have lost our proper place in the world. That is the time to remind ourselves that Tama Nui te Ra, the Polynesian sun, is strong enough keep us all warm.

If community groups insist on working together, and dealing with issues in a holistic way, then government agencies will fall into line. If you maintain a united front, and if you really represent the interests of your communities, government will have no choice but to come to you.

I firmly believe that working together, for the benefit of the people in our communities who most need our help, is a way for communities to empower themselves.

Along the way, we create initiatives like this home visiting service – a partnership between a community that is getting its act together, and a government that is getting its act together.

It really is a cause for celebration. We all benefit, community and government, if the services we provide deliver the results we all want.

Today we mark the transition from an establishment phase, to the time when accountability kicks in. From today, the community can expect to start seeing some results.

I’m sure they will get them. I understand you have nurses, social workers and community health workers ready to go, and they’ve all had training. You have the active interest of the Tainui MAPO, the Counties Manukau DHB, and the Ministry of Health – how can you go wrong!

I’m told this pilot project, and the other pilot that I opened in Tokoroa in March, are being monitored and evaluated.

I look forward to hearing that you have both been successful, and you have made a real difference in the lives of our communities.

Kia ora tatou katoa.

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