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“The Waitakere Way” tackles social wellbeing issue

Media release
26 October 2005

“The Waitakere Way” tackles social wellbeing issues at the flax roots

Over $1 million has been leveraged into Waitakere over the last three years to implement projects as part of the nine ‘Calls to Action’ of the Waitakere Wellbeing Collaboration Project.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Carolynne Stone says that the funding has been achieved through a relatively small investment from funding agencies for the coordination of the Collaboration Project.

“This project comes from a social perspective which is tackling issues at the flax roots,” she says.

On Friday October 28, community groups and individuals will meet with representatives of local and central government at the Waitakere Wellbeing Summit 2005 on Friday 28 November to review the three year focus of the project and discuss the future direction for both collaboration and wellbeing in Waitakere City.

“We believe in inclusion – that’s what this Waitakere City project is all about,” says Waitakere’s Deputy Mayor Carolynne Stone.

“At this summit we are celebrating several dozen key achievements of social wellbeing goals known as ‘Calls to Action’, since the Wellbeing Collaboration Project was initiated in 2002,” she says.

‘Calls to Action’ (in bold type) achievements include:

1. Every child has access to quality early child education – Toddlers’ Day Out 2004 & 2005; coordinator appointed, regular newsletters and education and networking events; ECE Express website launched.

2. Every student in Waitakere leaves school with a Plan/Waitakere Employment and Skills Project – ESOL Directory, DVD for young career opportunities in Waitakere; Young Enterprise Scheme; gateway programme for work experience; Massey University work skills demand research; Financial Literacy programme.

3. Every Waitakere Resident has access to affordable, appropriate housing - Collaborative submission made re Residential Tenancies Act; Third Sector Housing Forum; City Wide Strategy development; Secure Home Tenure Research; Tenancy Advocacy Service Proposal.

4. Developing a culture of inclusion in Waitakere - A Charter of Inclusion endorsed by council and Waitemata District Health Board will be signed at the Summit.

5. Information Technology is used by organisations to support wellbeing and collaboration outcomes - Community Events Calendar to be launched at the Summit, West Auckland District Council Of Social Services website being developed.

6. Migrants and refugees settle successfully in Waitakere (Call to Action Steering Group now known as New Out West – NOW) - Waitakere Ethnic Board established, New Settlers’ Guide launched 2004; drivers licence training; Race Relations Day marked in 2004; Migrant Settlement Service being established 2005 through Citizen’s Advice Bureaux and Community Law Centre.

7. Reduction of violence to women and children in Waitakere -Collaborative funding secured; Home Visitor programme developed and initiated; Social Worker employed to work with repeat victims of domestic violence; inter-agency case management meetings initiated.

8. Educators and communities working together - now includes early childhood and tertiary education as well as schools. A one day conference was held this month (October 2005) to provide new direction for this Call to Action.

9. Te Korowai Manaaki (formerly known as ‘Families give their children a great start’) – First Five Years Billboard campaign; Post natal depressed support network initiated; Maori and Pacific Islands Caucuses established; SKIP=Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents’ hui, Great Parenting Forum; Fathering Forums and Community Training.

“It’s hugely encouraging that in this three-year period most of these ‘Calls to Action’ have secured funding through established programmes. The ‘Calls to Action’ groups are continuing to attract new investment,” says Councillor Stone.

“The Project benefits from an extensive resource of local, national and international ideas, particularly the new collaborative effort targeted at under five year olds, ‘Te Korowai Manaaki’.

“The next phase of the Wellbeing Strategy will be discussed at the Summit,” she says.

A DVD charting the progress of the Waitakere Wellbeing Collaboration Process will be a key part of the opening on Friday

Waitakere Wellbeing Summit: Community, central and local government: 9.30am-3pm, Friday 28 October 2005, Kelston Community Centre, Great North Rd, Glendene.

Reference material on the Waitakere Wellbeing Collaboration Project:
Webpages: www.waitakere.govt.nz/ourpar/collabproj.asp and www.waitakereonline.co.nz
“The Potential of Partnerships: Some Key Learnings from Waitakere City”, Waitakere City Council and University of Auckland research paper on Waitakere’s collaborative practices is available online at www.lpg.org.nz


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