Tami­here: fix­ing a bro­ken sys­tem


OPINION: Wha¯ nau Ora has been a Govern­ment pol­icy since 2009 as a re­sult of a coali­tion agree­ment signed with Na­tional and its coali­tion part­ners – The Ma¯ ori Party, Act and United Fu­ture.

Wha¯ nau Ora was ini­tially ad­min­is­tered by Te Puni Ko¯ kiri (Min­istry of Maori De­vel­op­ment).

It would be fair to sug­gest that af­ter five years of govern­ment de­liv­ery, Wha¯ nau Ora did not have a clear fo­cus, clear measures or a clear def­i­ni­tion.

Enter a new model of de­liv­er­ing ser­vices re­sult­ing from the Govern­ment seek­ing Re­quests for Pro­pos­als (RFPs) from providers.

In 2014, the Na­tional Ur­ban

Ma¯ ori Author­ity (NUMA) utilised the Wai­pareira back-of­fice sup­port and ul­ti­mately won the con­tract to de­liver Wha¯ nau Ora ser­vices into the North Is­land.

Te Pou Matakana – the

Wha¯ nau Ora Com­mis­sion­ing Agency for the North Is­land – was born.

The change in com­mis­sion­ing ser­vices mea­sured the out­comes de­fined by each of the 13 Wha¯ nau Ora Lead Providers across the North Is­land.

It is a sim­ple con­cept be­cause it is not tightly reg­u­la­tive and doesn’t re­quire le­gions of bureaucrats to ad­min­is­ter.

Also enter Wha¯ nau Tahi - a global lead­ing info-metric com­pany that ad­min­is­ters a data ware­house and al­lows a full anal­y­sis of the So­cial Re­turn on In­vest­ment (SROI).

Site lo­ca­tions of this com­pany in Welling­ton, New­mar­ket and Auck­land’s Viaduct are now con­verg­ing on Hen­der­son. The new one-site location will open pre-Christmas.

As well, any new pol­icy re­quires mon­i­tor­ing through re­search, eval­u­a­tion and re­portage that ei­ther con­firms the prac­tice is a good bang for buck and achiev­ing an out­come, or that the re­sources must be re­de­ployed.

Money in health, wel­fare, ed­u­ca­tion and jus­tice is not be­ing de­ployed in a co­op­er­a­tive way.

It is not com­mu­nity con­trolled and as a con­se­quence too many peo­ple are paid to man­age fail­ure rather than to fix it.

Wha¯ nau Ora means fam­ily well­be­ing.

We can not have in­di­vid­u­als or fam­i­lies be­ing man­aged by police, courts, corrections, CYFs, WINZ, school coun­sel­lors and oth­ers be­cause these agen­cies have not col­lab­o­rated suc­cess­fully.

Wha¯ nau Ora re­quires ac­count­abil­ity from sev­eral agen­cies.

The present way of managing vul­ner­a­ble in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies has been bro­ken for 50 years and Wha¯ nau Ora prom­ises to en­sure mul­ti­ple in­vest­ments cen­tred on lift­ing the per­for­mance that most mid­dle-class fam­i­lies take for granted.

We know we must re­duce youth of­fend­ing. We know we must re­duce the vol­ume of traf­fic to the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.

We know that is a very blunt crude and ex­pen­sive way to man­age fail­ing in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies.

Wha¯ nau Ora – via Te Pou Matakana – com­mis­sion­ing through­out the North Is­land is merely a cat­a­lyst for pos­i­tive change.

But Wha¯ nau Ora can not work un­less main­stream well-funded govern­ment agen­cies be­come more ac­count­able, more trans­par­ent and per­form.

One of the big­gest prob­lems in New Zealand is that we be­lieve in a his­tor­i­cal well-performed pub­lic ser­vice.

Re­al­ity is, there is no such thing as a pub­lic ser­vice any­more – that went out with Roger­nomics.

John Tami­here is a for­mer Labour MP and is chief ex­ec­u­tive of West Auck­land ur­ban Ma¯ ori Author­ity Te

Wha¯ nau o Wai­pareira.

John Tami­here

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