Localised commissioning is a new way of delivering Whānau Ora. It invests into self determination meaning whānau and community can determine their future.

Whānau Ora and the work of Commissioning Agencies is the basis of localised commissioning and it  will expand the reach of Whānau Ora further into Te Ika a Māui  (the North Island) from 2020.

Testing additional ways to deliver Whānau Ora means more whānau, will have more support to identify their strengths, build their resilience and move towards the positive, long-term change they want for themselves and their communities.

Introducing Localised Commissioning – a fresh approach

The success of Whānau Ora so far has been based on a commissioning model. Since 2014, Te Puni Kōkiri has contracted three Commissioning Agencies  to invest in initiatives and services that will generate positive, sustainable change for and with whānau from the tip of the North to the heart of the South.

From July 2020, a trial of localised commissioning will begin. It will explore what difference, if any, is made when a commissioner of Whānau Ora programmes and services is located in the same community as the family receiving services.

Trial to run in four locations

The localised commissioning trial will take place in the following locations and will be led by the following organisations;

The trial will run for three years and then be reviewed. An evaluation will run alongside the entire initiative.

The start of the idea

The drive to expand the whānau-centred approach and develop localised commissioning, came from the independent Review of Whānau Ora: Tipu Mātoro ki Te Ao: Final Report to the Minister for Whānau Ora.

The review found that demand for Whānau Ora services is increasing. In response it recommended other commissioning options be explored to support underserved communities – specifically it encouraged localised options in the North Island. The review also said the existing commissioning model is not the only way in which a whānau-centred approach can be progressed.

How it works

Whānau Ora recognises the strengths and abilities that exist within whānau and supports and develops opportunities to fulfil that potential for the long term.

The journey to wellbeing is different for each whānau, so the model is flexible and can be tailored to the needs of each community. However, all of the localised commissioning work is focussed on delivering to the seven Whānau Ora outcomes.

The localised commissioning agency commissions (or buys) services or programmes that will help whānau to make transformative, positive change for example: housing repairs, alcohol and drug counselling, parenting programmes or employment advice.

The commissioning agencies are responsible for meeting with and listening to all community members to design the approach that will best support what whānau in the community say they want and need.  

On the whole, localised commissioning is;

  • designed for communities where there is limited (or no) access to Whānau Ora services/programmes
  • lead by an organisation (e.g. an iwi or community group) that has the resources and networks to commission
  • run by local people who are based in the community.

The role of Te Puni Kōkiri is to identify the communities that will trial localised commissioning and contract local commissioning agencies to undertake the work for and with communities.


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