Service delivery fails Whanau Ora
Health Star Pacific Trust (HSPT), a non-government organisation in Auckland that delivers health services, has come out in support of the Whanau Ora service. In a press release last week, the Rt. Hon. Winston Peters accused Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia of trying to say that the case of a Dunedin-based gang using Whanau Ora funds to buy cannabis was an ‘isolated’ incident’. “Whanau Ora funding has been used for touchy-feely family reunions, rugby games, as well as by gangs to buy cannabis.” according to the release. “There is nothing to suggest this kind of activity won’t continue to be funded through Whanau Ora; a scheme that is a tragedy for both taxpayers and Maori,” said Mr. Peters. However, according to Teleiai Edwin Puni, former HSPT Board Chairman, “The failure is not with the Whanau Ora vision and philosophy, the failure is with the way the service is being delivered.” Teleiai is referring not only to the need to have clear guidelines to prevent activities such as those identified by Mr. Peters, but also for providers to be able to utilise the Whanau Ora framework in a meaningful way to deliver Better, Sooner and More Convenient health services. Teleiai says, “We are aware of General Practitioners who are struggling to utilise the Whanau Ora framework to improve their services. From our experience, the Whanau Ora service has certainly contributed to turning the curve for some of the most difficult cases we have had.” Last August, Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia was invited by Health Star Pacific to see and hear firsthand from ten Pacific and Maori families how the Whanau Ora service helped them to help themselves with positive outcomes. The Samoan mother and her six children who were relocated after the Christchurch earthquake to a small three bedroom house in Glen Innes said, “Because of the Whanau Ora Service through Health Star Pacific and support of MP Peseta and his office, we now live in a bigger and healthier home. As a result, there have been no more admissions to Starship hospital for my newborn twins.” One of the young couples thanked the Minister, “Because of the parenting course we both attended that was funded by the Whanau Ora service, we have learnt to value each other, and there are no more arguments and fighting in our home. We are now better role models for our children.” The Tongan mother whose child was in the Health Star Pacific ADHB service said, “On behalf of my family, I want to say we highly value the support of the Whanau Ora service. We now have a warm home. My daughter’s asthma is under control and she is now attending school regularly.” Teleiai says, “Health Star Pacific embraces the Whanau Ora philosophy of self-determination. With a little help through the Whanau Ora service, we can also make a difference by reducing family violence, minimising readmissions to hospitals and ensuring children do not miss out on getting a good education because of poor health.”Health Star Pacific was part of the Alliance Health Plus (AH+) Pacific Collective business case that was successful in delivering Whanau Ora for Pacific in Auckland. Health Star Pacific has since moved to the National Hauora Coalition and has written to Te Puni Kōkiri requesting to continued delivery of the Whanau Ora service.