Hui a Tau and Whanau Ora Graduation

Speech – New Zealand Government

Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority- Hui a Tau and Whanau Ora Graduation Whangaehu Marae, Whanganui Friday 4 November 2011 Speech It was with great pleasure I saw that the Whanau Ora waiata would be included on today’s agenda. And it made me ponder …
Hon Tariana Turia
Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora

Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority- Hui a Tau and Whanau Ora Graduation
Whangaehu Marae, Whanganui
Friday 4 November 2011 Speech

It was with great pleasure I saw that the Whanau Ora waiata would be included on today’s agenda.

And it made me ponder again on those kupu

Ruruia mai to rangatiratanga
To aroha, whakapono, tumanako
Hoea ngatahi nei tatou te marea nui tonu
Kia puawaitia te whanau ora e.

In essence, everything I could hope to say about workforce development is covered in that waiata.

It reminds me that together, we can be an incredible engine for creativity and innovation.

When we combine our forces, and ensure that ambition, optimism and belief permeate our thinking, we can be the most smartest, the most effective workforce in the world.

And as we propel our waka forward into the future, we must make excellence our expectation.

We must place the highest demands on ourselves in terms of our environment for change. We must apply ourselves to build the creative skills and analytical strategies that our whanau demand.

Who are we to deny our whanau the very best opportunity in life?
No other investment will ever yield as great a return as the investment in our whanau. This I truly believe.

Because when it comes to contributing to the global village, a well educated and eager whanau workforce is the foundation of our future.

The way that I see it, I believe that Whānau Ora will come to inspire the nation and act as a beacon of hope for indigenous peoples across the globe.

How will it do that? It will do that through the enthusiasm and the example of the forty graduates we celebrate today, and the endorsement and the support of those around them.

And I want to say that I am really pleased to see -John Maihi, Darryn Ratana, Grant Huwyler – and to know implicitly that with them, come Whanganui, Nga Rauru, Ngati Apa/Nga Wairiki.

Yes indeed – our world – is being led by those who believe that strong whānau will take charge of our future.

Everywhere I go, I see Whānau Ora provider collectives who are extensive, committed, innovative, and ready to learn from each other.

Our greatest challenge now is to consider how Whanau Ora can grow, expand and continue to be sustainable.

The Whanau Ora Practitioner Training Programme that has been pioneered by Te Oranganui, helps to give me the confidence that our transformation is already well on the way. As part of your programme, you have experienced some 1500 hours of learning including marae-based training, homework, and personal development as part of your workforce development.

But perhaps the greatest incentive to your study has been the encouragement provided to ensure our whanau are supported and motivated to make health and wellbeing decisions for themselves.

Most of all, your learning has been about making the shift from “doing it to whanau” to “whanau doing it for themselves”.

The newswires have been hot lately with the various gifts or gaffes on offer from political parties in the lead up to the day of reckoning.

From one group our children will have their breakfast and lunch at school; and whanau will receive a $1000 Christmas present. And from another source we find a long list of headlines telling us that we are spiralling into disaster, the Government is dishonest, that it lacks a plan, it makes unaffordable promises or offers a kick in the teeth.

What both groups have in common is that all answers lie with them.

I beg to differ.

No political party; no politician, has the right to force us into reliance on state authority.

We resist, in the strongest possible way, any attempts for politicians to create an industry out of misery; to find a purpose for being out of our unique circumstances.

We have had enough of dependence on welfare; placing all our hopes on the fate and fortune of our political master.

But I hasten to add, gone also are the days when we create such a status around providers that they become in effect, the defacto family for those of us who might otherwise be seen as vulnerable.

The paradigm has changed, and it has changed for good.

With Whanau Ora we are transforming our own fortunes by focusing on outcomes for our whanau, a plan for our future.

My views are no different than those of the Taskforce in 2009, that whanau will be self-managing, living healthy lifestyles, culturally confident, participating fully in society and economically secure.

I want Whanau Ora to be such a natural way of life for all of our whanau that it becomes second nature to look to ourselves first for support, and turn to providers to lend a hand, only when a hand is needed.

Whanau Ora is about reinvesting in the people; it is about whanau deciding for themselves what’s important.

And it is about investing in systemic change to promote – and provoke – a new way of engaging for all our government agents, to better apply a whanau ora methodology to the way in which they engage with whanau.

Whanau Ora involves us all. It is about whanau, hapu, iwi development. It is about a skilled workforce to enable effective service delivery; and it is about the system enabing integrated contracts to ensure a more holistic service delivery to whanau.

Perhaps our greatest challenge at the graduation is to think about our immediate actions when we leave the marae today. “Waiho ma te mahi hei korero” let one’s deeds speak for themselves.

Finally, I want to finish with the words of local Whanganui man, Professor Sir Paul Callaghan at the Sustainable Futures Conference.

He said, “So my take is we simply push on, ignore the pessimism and lead by example. Then suddenly we find ourselves surrounded by success and telling ourselves that it was always meant to be this way”.

This is exactly what I envisage we will see with Whanau Ora in Nga Rauru, in Nga Wairiki/Ngati Apa, in Whanganui, in fact right across the motu.

And I am so proud to be here today, to witness those who are taking us into that future.

Tena tatou katoa
Authorised by Tariana Turia, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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