For Whānau

Learn how Whānau Ora can help you and your whānau build on your strengths and access the services to achieve your goals and aspirations.

Last updated: Friday, 5 April 2024 | Rāmere, 05 Paengawhāwhā, 2024


What is Whānau Ora?

Whānau Ora puts your whānau at the centre of decision-making about your future.

It recognises the collective ability of whānau to achieve better outcomes in areas such as health, education, housing, employment, and income levels.

By navigating and connecting to the right supports, you and your whānau can be the leaders of your own lives.

Whānau Ora builds on the strengths of every person and every whānau to:

  • help you become self-managing, independent and leading healthy lifestyles
  • put your needs and aspirations at the centre with services that are integrated and accessible
  • build trusting relationships between your whānau and service providers and between iwi and government agencies.

Whānau Ora can support your whānau in several ways, including through Kaiārahi (navigators). More information about navigators and Whānau Ora commissioning agencies is below.


Whānau Ora providers take a whānau-centred approach to supporting whānau aspirations. A whānau-centred approach:

  • starts by asking whānau and families what you want to achieve for yourselves, and then responding to those aspirations to realise whānau potential
  • recognises each whānau has different needs, and what works well for one whānau does not work well for others
  • recognises whānau have skills, knowledge and experiences
  • provides flexible support for whānau and families to move beyond crisis into achieving medium and long-term goals for sustained change, helping whānau become more self-managing and independent
  • focuses on relationships, self-direction and building skills for whānau to achieve positive long-term outcomes
  • responds in a joined-up way to whānau aspirations across several areas, such as economic, cultural, environmental, and social (that is, support for several things at once)
  • will differ depending on how each community responds to local needs.

By putting whānau at the centre, government agencies, through collaboration and learning, can develop the policies and services to complement the work of Whānau Ora providers.


How can whānau access Whānau Ora services?

If you want to find out more about Whānau Ora services in your area, and how Whānau Ora can help your whānau, contact your relevant commissioning agency.

How do navigators work to support whānau?

Kaiārahi (or navigators) work closely with whānau to identify your specific needs and aspirations, then help identify the services, education providers or employment and business opportunities.

Kaiārahi support whānau to plan, and then connect you with the support you need to achieve your goals. They have the cultural and local knowledge necessary to understand whānau situations and build relationships of trust and confidence.

For many whānau, working with a kaiārahi will be your first experience with social service delivery focusing on your strengths and aspirations. Sometimes you may need help to overcome certain crises or barriers and once this is done the kaiārahi continue to work with them to look at opportunities.

What can success look like for my whānau if we get support from Whānau Ora?

Whānau Ora is focused on achieving whānau wellbeing over the short, medium and long-term.

To learn more about what Whānau Ora can mean for your whānau, please refer to the Whānau Ora Outcomes.

The outcomes whānau could expect to achieve include being self-managing, living healthy lifestyles, participating fully in society, confidently participating in te ao Māori (the Māori world), being economically secure and successfully involved in wealth creation.

These outcomes are how the government measures the impact of Whānau Ora, through information given to us by Whānau Ora providers.