Wellington mothers Ange and Rawinia credit the whānau planning process with their new vision, passion and motivation for future family success.
Ange, from Trentham, and Rawinia, from Upper Hutt, are working with navigators from Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Services in Seaview – part of Lower Hutt-based collective, Tākiri Mai Te Ata.
“In order to truly grasp every opportunity that crosses our paths, we must first be able to clearly define what is important to ourselves, our whānau and our future,” explains Ange (Ngāti Porou, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Oneone).
“Developing a whānau plan has strengthened my determination to achieve and be successful, giving me insight into where I want to be and how I am going to get there.
“Although we’ve only just developed a plan, I’ve already begun the journey to accomplish my goals and I’m excited about my direction – a direction that’s for the betterment of my whānau.”
Rawinia (Ngāi Tuhoe) says she, too, is now on a mission to teach her tamariki to work hard, strive for success and be passionate about who they are in this world.
“Life has had its major ups and downs, and my struggles have been testing,” she admits.
“Encouraged by a friend to want more for myself, my children and my whānau, I decided that I would pull myself out of my comfort zone and assess what the future has in store for us.
“Processing and removing all the unnecessary complications was tough work and, at times, very exhausting. But it also helped in that it took all the emotional and mental blockages away which were in conflict with my passion and determination to achieve my goals and aspirations.
“Now my objective is to become an all-inspiring and successful mana wahine – paving the way for my children by encouraging them to be passionate about being wāhine too.”
Ange and Rawinia – who have two tamariki each aged four to 12 years – paid tribute to the Whānau Ora navigators whose “truly awesome” support led to the completion of their whānau plans in only a matter of weeks.
Ange’s plan involves eight of her family members while 10 relatives of Rawinia are now engaged in the process.
Says Ange: “Being able to walk this journey with navigators who inspire and believe in you personally is a real honour – without their support, our whānau plans would never have been developed.”
As well as Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Services, members of Tākiri Mai Te Ata provider collective include Whai Oranga O Te Iwi Health Centre, Kōkiri Marae Māori Women’s Refuge, Mana Wahine, Nāku Ēnei Tamariki Incorporated (Māori Section), Tū Kotahi Māori Asthma Trust and Wainuiomata Marae.
Whānau Ora provider collectives are trialling the new role of ‘navigator’. The specialist practitioners work with families to identify their needs, develop a ‘whānau plan’ to address those needs – then broker their access to health and social services that meet those needs. Navigators can also facilitate applications to the Whānau Integration, Innovation and Engagement (WIIE) Fund which supports families to develop and implement their whānau plans. WIIE Fund information is available from regional Te Puni Kōkiri offices or the website: http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/whakamahia/whanau-ora .