Hon Tariana Turia - Column

Whānau Ora represents a significant investment in whānau and I am excited by the interest that this innovative approach has generated in its first few months of implementation.

At its very core Whānau Ora is about empowering whānau to take control of their future. What we want for our whānau is to be self-determining, to be living healthy lifestyles, to be participating fully in society and to be economically secure.

These are aspirations that we hope will translate into real outcomes - outcomes that express the power and potential of our whānau to be the best they can be.

And the potential for our whānau has never been greater than now and one of the most incredible things for me has been the opportunity to witness the level of optimism from people.

I am delighted at the number and calibre of providers who have submitted proposals to deliver Whānau Ora. Te Puni Kōkiri has received 130 proposals from 347 providers wanting to deliver Whānau Ora. Nearly 40 per cent of the expressions of interest are from provider collectives.

I am told that the calibre of the proposals is very high and that an impressive number of provider collectives have submitted strong proposals to work collaboratively to deliver Whānau Ora.

The spirit of cooperation that is being demonstrated to work together in the best interests of whānau is exciting and a great sign for the future of whānau.

I look forward to announcing the selected providers in October.

Shortly afterwards, the Whānau Engagement Innovation and Integration (Weii) Fund will open for applications from whānau engaged with eligible providers including those selected through the EOI process; and other health and social service providers and NGOs like rünanga and hapu organisations, marae committees and whānau trusts - located in regions of high need or where services are lacking.

Administered by Te Puni Kōkiri, the Weii Fund will be available to help our whānau develop whānau plans and implement discrete elements of those plans – so they can move to greater self reliance and self management by strengthening their connections and engagement with each other, with other whānau and the wider community; developing whānau leadership and building whānau knowledge, skills and capabilities.

More information on the WEII Fund will be available in October at www.tpk.govt.nz.