Whānau Ora Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has released two reports, The Whānau Ora Formative Evaluation report and the Whānau Ora Annual Summary Report (2014-2015), that provide valuable insights into the first year of the Whānau Ora commissioning agency model.
“I pay tribute to Te Pou Matakana, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and Pasifika Futures who are at the forefront of this innovative practice for whānau and the public sector. While substantial gains for whānau were not expected in the first year of commissioning, these agencies reached almost 6,000 whānau,” says Flavell.
Flavell said the Commissioning Agencies are well placed to respond at a community level to the specific needs of vulnerable families and whānau is in essence its greatest strength.
“To deliver that wrap-around support, we need whānau to be able to access a full range of community experience and networks. Our Commissioning Agencies lead that work with both providers and whānau and ensure that our whānau are accessing services that meet their needs and aspirations.”
The Annual Summary reported improvements for whānau in health and disability, education and training, and financial management.
“For each whānau, the journey to increased wellbeing will be different. For some, given the divide that exists between where they are now and where they want to be, the journey will require many steps and may take longer. What we are hearing from whānau and iwi, though, is that the Whānau Ora approach is helping whānau access and make better use of the resources available to help them improve their lives.”
Both reports highlight the challenges of establishing and embedding a new public sector initiative that contracts for outcomes rather than services.
“As this type of commissioning through non-government agencies is just being developed in New Zealand, there isn’t an ‘off the shelf’ model we could simply pick up and use for Whānau Ora. We had to develop our own,” says Mr Flavell.
He says the reports identify what works well, and where improvements can be made to make the model even more effective.
“Whānau Ora is at the forefront of Government’s focus on social investment, a public sector drive to get better long-term outcomes from social sector spend.”
Source: Maori TV