“Oranga Whānau”, one of Te Puni Kōkiri’s key Whānau Social Assistance Programmes, has been extended to June 2013 so that it aligns with the current programme duration for “Kaitoko Whānau”, the other key Whānau Social Assistance Programme initiatives.
Oranga Whānau is a pilot initiative that has been running in Whangārei, Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, and Wellington since late 2009.
Oranga Whānau aims to support young Māori parents and their whānau by providing advice on nurturing, care giving and meeting the needs of their children from those who know best; kuia.
Twenty-one kuia, working in groups of three, from seven different Māori provider organisations operate primarily out of marae and work directly in homes and communities. This personal, ‘kanohi ki te kanohi’ approach is aimed at emulating positive family relationships.
Guided by principles of whanaungatanga, whāngai, tiakitanga, and wai ora, the Oranga Whānau works through the kuia to re-weave and re-connect the whānau with their whānau whānui and community. On a day-to-day level, the kuia aim to provide parenting support, home-making support, pre-natal and ante-natal advice to young mothers, for up to 10 whānau each.
Emerging findings from a review of Oranga Whānau Pilot highlights the importance of self-referrals and word-of-mouth as a means for whānau to engage with kuia. Financial hardship was also identified as a key issue affecting 90% of all whānau involved in Oranga Whānau either directly or indirectly.
The review also highlights that whānau were making changes, including seeking education opportunities, aimed at improving their circumstances significantly. Whānau were attributing this to the support and encouragement of the kuia.
The Oranga Whānau Pilot will continue, at this stage, through until mid-2013.