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Keeping the Promise of Whānau Ora Alive

7 July 2014

Keeping the Promise of Whānau Ora Alive
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Chair Te Pou Matakana

Kei ngā whānau, nō ngā hau e whā, tēnā rā koutou. Koutou e hāpai nei i te kaupapa o Whānau Ora, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

I am very happy and delighted to be here with you all today. I am happy because I know we are here, committed to continuing the Whānau Ora journey. Along with other board members, I am delighted to welcome you to our conference, in my new position as Chair of Te Pou Matakana.

Minister Turia tēnā koe. Thank you for your wisdom and vision, not only for Whānau Ora, but for your unshakeable belief in the position that: iwi Māori should hold in Aotearoa; our whānau have unlimited potential; for some whānau, their current circumstances should not define their future; given support, encouragement and when necessary, appropriate resources, they will determine for themselves their own wellbeing; and whānau must be in control of their own lives.

Thank you. Through Whānau Ora this is achievable.

It was just three years ago that we met here in Auckland to discuss how Whānau Ora would be rolled out across the country. Many of you would have been at that conference. I was present as the Deputy Chair of the Te Arawa Whānau Ora Regional Leadership Group. In that capacity I had insight into our local collective and the work of providers. I was fortunate enough to also become familiar with other collectives throughout the country. This wasn’t an easy time for some providers. Many were prepared to hold the mirror up to themselves. They felt they could do some things differently and worked to make the necessary changes. There was collaboration required by providers, many of whom had not had much time for each other in the past, at least that’s what some tell me. But you do what you have to do. Now, all around the country, there is a strong network of provider collectives working constructively together, sharing information and playing their part in making Whanau Ora the success it is today. To you all – thank you.

Last year I was invited to join Professor Sir Mason Durie and others, as a member of the Whānau Ora Governance Group. I remain very grateful for the opportunity to work at that level and to be exposed to Sir Mason’s focussed thinking on how Māori can exceed even our own expectations – that we can become more than we ever thought we could be. Thank you Sir Mason.

During the conference you will hear about Te Pou Matakana: what its role will be and the difference we want to make; our funding responsibilities; that we want to see funding closer to whanau; and that this will be reflected in coverage across the whole fabric of whanau life, including health, housing, education, justice and social services.

We know that for Te Pou Matakana to be an effective Commissioning agency we have to foster innovation, and hence the focus of this conference. Te Pou Matakana will bring a solution-focussed and innovative approach to how we bring funding closer to whānau and work with providers to deliver services to whānau. We are commissioning for results – for successful whānau – and the realisation of results requires us all to think and behave differently. Around the country there are already Providers pushing the boundaries and we are going to hear more about what they are doing over the next day and a half. I’m sure you all have ideas and so I encourage you to visit the Te Pou Matakana stall to share your thoughts about Whānau Ora, what’s working well and what the opportunities are. Innovation comes from everyone and so we want to hear from you.

Equally important to the success of Te Pou Matakana will be ensuring we work together to achieve collective impacts for whānau. Te Pou Matakana and you, the provider collectives, have a common agenda – the success of whānau. A common agenda is the first step. We need to supplement this with shared measurement of whānau outcomes, continuous communication, mutually reinforcing activities, and utilisation of a centralised backbone infrastructure and disciplined and effective operational processes and systems. Adding to that, we will need to work together to leverage our relationships, geographic coverage and experience across multiple sectors to deliver culturally appropriate wraparound services to whānau. These are exciting changes and I look forward to working towards this future for whānau.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the board members who will be working with me to achieve our vision of empowered, self-managing whānau: Tania Rangiheuea, Robin Hapi, Suzanne Snively, and Pahia Turia. I think it is worth noting that Pahia joined us based on the nomination by the Iwi Leaders Forum. We are very pleased to have him working with us. We will serve, organise and measure the best of our collective energies and skills as Te Pou Matakana board members.

John Tamihere is the NUMA Lead for Te Pou Matakana. I will enjoy working with John. His excitement and passion are contagious. John takes others along with him.

We all know that challenges lie ahead. For Te Pou Matakana, for providers and their collectives and for our whānau who are at the heart of our existence. But these are challenges that we are willing to accept, unwilling to postpone and ones which we intend to win.

Nō reira, ngā mihi ki a koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.


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