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.