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A visit by politicians to New Plymouth last week provided Tui Ora with the chance to talk about the benefits of Whānau Ora.
Prime Minister John Key and Māori Development and Whānau Ora MinisterTe Ururoa Flavell were in the city on Thursday and Friday March 19 and 20 or a pre-arranged visit.
The Tui Ora executive leadership team of Hayden Wano, Jane Hawkin-Jones and Mahau Maru met them on Thursday while navigators/kaiāwhina Glenarr Huntley and Airingi Matuku accompanied whānau who met privately with the ministers on Friday.
The trio outlined their experiences in receiving a range of wrap around services at Tui Ora through the Whānau Ora model.
Puri Hayman, talked about home insulation she’d received, her fight to give up smoking with the help of Quit coach Janine Lineham and support from Jo Betrand of the Māori Mobile Disease State Management service.
Glenarr recalled Puri’s initial apprehension at accepting the home insulation service and the length she went to work alongside Puri and her family, who at the time were unconvinced the service could be free.
Now Puri says her warm Bell Block home has had a spin off in helping manage her diabetes.
Glenarr received queries about the relevance of her role as a navigator. She pointed out that while the national home insulation scheme had been around for some time, Puri and her family were not aware of it, nor aware of their eligibility. She guided them through the process and was able to then disseminate information to other whānau.
Airingi’s two clients had used a range of Tui Ora services as well as other health providers.
One came through Tui Ora Family Health and was referred onto services ranging from home insulation and diabetes support to mental health and addiction services.
Her central point of contact had always been Airingi. She was asked by Mr Key and Mr Flavell whom she rang if something went wrong and Airingi wasn’t available. But she knew to call on a practice nurse, diabetes nurse Nadia Regan or Bridget Taylor (MHS), showing a level of empowerment.
The third client, who bought her two boys, had also used a range of Tui Ora services. One example was asthma support, which had then lead to the ability to get extra help for one of her children’s life-threatening allergies.
She was asked: ‘Where would you be without Whānau Ora.’ Her response: “Up to my neck in mud.”
Airingi and Glenarr said there was genuineness on the part of the ministers to listen.
“Those whānau spoke about whatever they wanted to speak aobut. They were honest and gave examples of how Whānau Ora affects them. It’s having the wrap around services that it provides – that’s the difference.
“They also asked lots of question about the role of the navigator and how they thought it could work.”
Reflecting on the visit afterwards, Hayden said it was a good chance to talk about how family is being put at the centre of services. People struggle to pin down what Whānau Ora is, whether it’s a brand of sevices or a programme of services. “However it is about doing what we do in a better more co-ordinated way with whānau at the centre.” To read more about recent news coverage on Whānau Ora in Taranaki click here.