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Launch of Te Kawau Maro Alliance

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

4.30pm Wednesday August 29 2012 SPEECH

Launch of Te Kawau Maro Alliance
Alliance of Māori Health Services for Taranaki
Western Institute of Technology, Taranaki

Delivered on behalf of Minister by Associate Professor Dr Cindy Kiro

Over the last month, the nation has turned its gaze to maunga Taranaki; as the tragedy unfolded of three young men who disappeared into the heavy surf at the feet of Paritutu Rock.

We waited in forlorn hope; we clung to every update, and finally we grieved at the inevitable loss.

E te tokotoru kua riro ki ngā moana karekare o Tangaroa. Kei te tangi atu.

As Taranaki prepared for the funeral of Felipe Mero; his uncles spoke of the response of the family as they woke to the news in their homeland of Brazil. They told Taranaki that they believe there is a “message for everybody that we need to live life, respect and give value to everybody around us."

It is in that context, then, that I greet everyone at this important launch, the launch of Te Kawau Maro Alliance.

Ka pari te tai moana, ka timu te tai tangata

As the tide of the ocean flows, so too, does the ebb and flow of life.

Today is a very important day, to live life, to value all that we are and can be; to celebrate the hard work, the vision and the dedication of everyone that has created the alliance that we launch today.

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This alliance is a unique bringing together of the key players within Tui Ora Limited, and National Hauora Coalition. It has been a rapid thirty months since the Taranaki District Health Board created the DHB’s Māori Health Strategy 2001 to 2029 – Te Kawau Maro.

The establishment of this alliance today represents the fruition of that strategy.

You have joined forces to tender and successfully achieve a five year contract for the entire kaupapa Māori services for this region.

This is a phenomenal decision on many counts.

For one, the multi-year contracting is a goal that many providers throughout the land have longed for – that sense of certainty which enables you to plan appropriately for the long-term gain.

The long-term picture is not just about the nature of this particular contract – it also represents the vision for Te Kawau Maro.

For rather than be restricted by a focus on outputs and activities pertaining to a particular year or even a specific health target, Te Kawau Maro aims to improve Māori health through the implementation of Whānau Ora over a twenty year period.

It aims to do this in five key ways :
• To improve access
• Build Māori service provision capacity
• Improve mainstream services
• Strengthen strategic relationships
• And monitor performance.

But there is a third strand to this comprehensive framework for health across this rohe – and that is the commitment to collaboration.

In launching Te Kawau Maro Alliance, this in effect reduces the number of contracted providers from 31 to one. This is a strategic alliance in which the myriad of cross government agency and sector relationships are managed by one body.

It brings together the whole canvas of services across personal health, general practice, mental health, mama, pepi and tamariki – the entire spectrum of needs and priorities we might expect to see throughout the region being collapsed into one.

These three strands – the multi- year contract; the twenty year vision; and the collaboration and accumulative strength of the collective might be considered revolutionary in anyone’s estimates.

But there is an even more important factor that distinguishes today.

I want to talk about disruption.

Many would say the health sector has endured significant disruption in a variety of ways, as providers strive towards achieving healthcare that is better, sooner and more convenient.

But what we are talking about today is the concept of disruptive innovation –that is a transformation of the social sector in which conventional practice is turned on its head. Simply doing more of the same is no longer an option. We need innovation; we need solutions; we need to do things differently.

We all know that when it comes to the profile of Māori health in this region – indeed in any region – it is surely ripe for disruption. Incremental change over decades hasn’t achieved the gains we envisaged; we need to get out in front; and meet the challenge – to become enablers rather than observers; to define our future.

This is where Whānau Ora comes in - and importantly – the concept of trust.

We need to trust in our whānau to come up with the answers; to trust in the collective wisdom that has been passed down through the generations. It is about whakapono – having trust and faith that our whānau can deliver if they receive the right support to be their own champions.

I want to share a story of disruptive innovation that occurred over the weekend. A young woman from Taumarunui shared with me a wonderful story about one whānau that she had been working with. Their lifetime goal was to own their own home – but without a deposit their housing aspirations seemed to have little chance of being realised.

The kaimahi sat with them, and together they started scoping out a plan for how they could achieve what they wanted, by building up capital as a whānau. Suddenly they knew – if they agreed, as a whānau, to throw away the smokes, that would add up to a massive $200 a week – and within a space of a couple of years, they would be on the way to the house that they never thought could be theirs.

It was a simple story of success – the whānau would be able to purchase their own home while at the same time protecting and preserving their health in a way that they could own and accept.

And really, that’s what Whānau Ora is all about – making the impossible possible by believing in each other.

That’s the disruption we celebrate today- discarding the myth that only professionals can create lasting change – and replacing it with the knowledge that together, champions of health alongside of whānau can help navigate a future which will achieve enduring outcomes.

What this one little story reminds us too, of course, is that Whānau Ora is never tidy – it is not confined to one sector, one issue, one person.

By its very nature Whānau Ora extends across the whole gamut – we may be looking at diabetes management or gout treatment and instead uncover the need for lifestyle change. We cannot hope to heal infectious skin conditions without also looking at living arrangements or household conditions.

And so while the funding has come through a health funnel, I want to encourage you to continue the leadership that Tui Ora has always shown in exploring a broad range of social development needs across your community.

Finally, I want to single out Mary Bourke – Chair of Taranaki DHB; Simon Royal – Chief Executive of the National Hauora Coalition – and Hayden Wano – Chief Executive of Tui Ora – for the courage and the commitment that you have shown in coming together to launch Te Kawau Maro Alliance.

What you are doing here in Taranaki is very important – and what happens next will help to set the scene to accept ‘disruptive innovation’ as part of core practice across many sectors and many communities.

I urge you to have the fortitude to demonstrate trust in the whānau you are engaging with – to be prepared to see what they see, to learn from their experience, to share in their aspirations and their expectations of what Whānau Ora could mean for them.

As each of you look out over a Taranaki landscape, whether it be the mountain by sunset or the crashing waves at dawn, you will share in common a love of the unique location you call home.

Whether you are a Chief Executive, a nurse practitioner or aunty or uncle is in fact irrelevant – the key point is that together, at this moment in time, you have an opportunity to make a difference.

That is the challenge that awaits Te Kawau Maro Alliance – the challenge and the opportunity of Whānau Ora. I wish you all well in making it work.


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