Whānau Ora was created in response to a recognition by Government that standard ways of delivering social and health services were not working and outcomes particularly for Māori whānau were not improving.
In 2010, Whānau Ora was launched as an innovative whānau-centred approach to supporting whānau wellbeing and development. The development of Whānau Ora occurred after the Taskforce on Whānau-Centred Initiatives presented a report to Government in 2009. The report has provided the framework for Whānau Ora development throughout Aotearoa.
The following principles underline all components of the framework, serve as essential foundations, and are important markers to guide the selection of indicators, outcome measures, and the allocation of funding for whānau-centred initiatives:
• A kaupapa tuku iho (the ways in which Māori values, beliefs, obligations and responsibilities are available to guide whānau in their day-to-day lives)
• Whānau opportunity
• Best whānau outcomes
• Whānau integrity
• Coherent service delivery
• Effective resourcing
• Competent and innovative provision.
On 8 April 2010, then Prime Minister John Key appointed Hon Tariana Turia as the Minister Responsible for Whānau Ora to work closely with other relevant Government Ministers and the Whānau Ora Governance Group to oversee the roll-out and progress of Whānau Ora.
The implementation of Whānau Ora has occurred in two phases: Phase One of Whānau Ora (2010 – 2013), focused on building the capability of providers to design and deliver whānau-centred services.
Phase Two (2014 – present-day), moved implementation by the Government to three non-government Commissioning Agencies to invest directly into their communities. This means funding decisions are made closer to communities and allows for flexible and innovative approaches to meet the needs and aspirations of whānau.
In 2015, a Whānau Ora Partnership Group, made up of six Iwi and six Crown representatives, was established. This group provides strategic oversight of Whānau Ora and advises the Minister for Whānau Ora.
The three Commissioning Agencies:
• Te Pou Matakana works with whānau in the North Island.
• Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu works with whānau in the South Island.
• Pasifika Futures is dedicated to working with Pacific Island families across the country.
Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies are contracted to fund and support initiatives that deliver the Government’s Whānau Ora outcomes. They act as brokers in matching the needs and aspirations of whānau with initiatives that assist them to increase their capability.