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Turia - Whanau Ora : Budget 2010


Hon Tariana Turia
Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora

6 May 2010 Speech
Whanau Ora : Budget 2010


This is a very significant day for Aotearoa.

It is a day in which the Government has placed its faith in families; a day in which the state invests in the potential of whanau.

I want to thank the Prime Minister and my ministerial colleagues for being prepared to make the seismic shift from defining families by the level of risk to instead being prepared to trust in their potential.

It is a transformation of attitude as much as of a contractual arrangement.

Over the last year, as the Whanau Ora Taskforce travelled the country, and gathered the views of the people about what would make the difference, one clear theme stood out.

In the words of one of the participants

“For us Whanau Ora is anything we want it to be, anything we can dream it to be, so whanau are empowered to be the best they can be”.

Such free thinking is not routinely associated with the cost-benefit analysis of the machinery of government and I know that some of us in Wellington have struggled with what the concept of Whanau Ora will mean in practice.

When one consults the Ngata Dictionary for help, it becomes evident why there have been so many questions.

The three letter word – ORA – attracts some 359 interpretations, ranging from the process of regeneration and revitalisation; to a soundness of body and mind; the concept of safety; the practice of a living faith; the spark of life; and a solid standard of living.

It is about being enraptured with life; knowing that life is precious – he matahiapo te ora.

It is about survival; the capacity to thrive, to be whole.

We might say to one another -and we do - kia piki te ora – to encapsulate our desires for the restoration of good health and wellbeing. Or we might greet one another – kia ora – meaning we wish you the fullness of life.

It can be as big and exhilarating and as exciting as what we might well wish it to be.

Whanau Ora then, in its most simple expression, about building and maintaining the capability of whanau to be self-managing.

We know that the great majority of our families have an amazing capacity to live healthy lifestyles; to participate fully in society; to nurture one another, and to be resilient no matter what comes their way.

Whanau ora is about ensuring that all families and whanau can be supported to be the best that they can be; to be self-managing and to take responsibility for their own economic, social and cultural development.

The goal is greater self-reliance; it is about fostering interdependence – honouring our roles and responsibilities as members of a collective.
It is the recognition of self-belief – that whanau can do for themselves

For too long, there has been a confusion over the role of the state in relation to families. Government must never become the defacto head of the family by replacing vital functions that we would expect families to do for themselves in caring for their wellbeing as a whole.

At the heart of the approach is the support to build whanau capability, to strengthen whanau connections, to support the development of whanau leadership and to enhance best outcomes for them.

The fundamental change for Government is that the approach will be underpinned by the integration of existing contracts into joint funding arrangements with other agencies. The inspiration for change will not be from advancing items on a checklist, activities and outputs to demonstrate compliance.

Whanau ora is not about bricks and mortar – about buildings and corporate branding. It is not about categorising problems or taking a deficit approach to our families in the greatest need.

It is about doing things differently.

We seek to minimise fragramention, to reduce compliance and transactional costs, to encourage provider collaboration, to establish coherent and integrated services and to be motivated by the goal of positive whanau development.

The measurement of success in Whanau Ora is from outcomes which reflect the aspirations of the people themselves.

Whanau Ora Practitioners will act as navigators or champions for the whanau, helping whanau to access seamless health and social services, to focus on the opportunities to meet the whanau needs.

Regional leadership teams will be established across ten regions, and they will have representatives from the community sitting alongside the local agencies to ensure that Whanau Ora reflects the local priorities and knowledge of each region.

I am really delighted that the Chair of the Governance Group, Rob Cooper, is here today with us and acknowledge the vital leadership role of that Group in making Whanau Ora operational. Tënä koe Rob.

Their task is to provide strategic advice to Government on how to best support Whanau Ora, across all aspects of the policy – the development of high level outcomes; an action research and evaluation plan, a monitoring plan that will comment on agency responsiveness, and of course an overview on how Whanau Ora is progressing where it counts most – in the home.

The next few months will be really busy as we consolidate the implementation process.

Next Monday, we commence a schedule of regional hui to talk at a local level about the Expression of Interest process which we will roll out in June and July.

The Governance Group will then work with up to twenty sites with providers who will be selected in this first wave.

I want to make it quite clear, however, that this is not just about a specific number of providers, or a particular funding approach.

This is about the long-term transformation which we expect to take place across a wide range of areas, in the drive to support whanau centred practice.

I want to thank everyone who has made today possible –
• from the excitement of whanau around the motu – and they are excited;
• to the providers and practitioners already putting plans into action;
• from the hapu and iwi who have charged ahead under their own momentum;
• the agencies and officials who are working through the detail;
• the members of parliament right across the House who know that this will work;
• the Ministers and Cabinet who have given their full support; and
• the Prime Minister for his faith in Whanau Ora as the right way forward.

ENDS

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