Community Scoop

♬ All I want for Christmas is ….. ♫

stephanie-popeStephanie Pope
Director | Te Wana Quality Programme

Well I guess I must have been on the Santa nice list because the very day I submit my blog copy bemoaning the delay in hearing any news about the Whānau Ora review report then this happens:

Todays NZ National News Headlines | Online Maori News

17 Dec 2018 14:57. The future of Whānau Ora won’t become clear until the new year, with a report on the unified service delivery framework being held back until 2019.
Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says it needs to be cleared by Cabinet, and the volume of work going through was too high for it to get on the agenda.
He has discussed its findings with the three whanau ora commissioning agencies and isn’t signalling any major changes.
“One thing I could say from those meetings is there is real enthusiasm for the next phase of Whānau Ora and their involvement in that so it is a little unfortunate but Whānau Ora doesn’t stop just because the report didn’t come out,” Mr Henare says.

I had been asking Santa, or any cultural equivalent, for a government that released findings in about as short a timeframe as those given to the community sector on many occasions when government wants input.

Constructive learning organisations and relationships give equal consideration to diverse perspectives, have mutual respect for each other’s skills, experience and strengths and engage in communications that are transparent, respectful and responsive.

Conversely, the greatest organisational failures have been shown to be those in which a climate of inconsistent or insufficient communication and distance from decision-making of those most affected by decisions creates a climate of disengagement and diminished trust.

The absence of information about the Whānau Ora report creates uncertainty. Many questions are unanswered; what are the findings, how might it affect current or future services and definitely when will it be released so we can find out? Along with uncertainty comes speculation and anxiety.

Uncertainty is for many people, particularly those specifically employed as Whānau Ora navigators may be as direct and confronting as remaining employed, and for the clients it may be the loss of assistance with complex health and social issues.

What does this matter to Te Wana who is not actually a service provider?

It matters because we, like most organisations in the sector, believe in and are passionate and committed to our purpose and clients. We provide quality standards and accreditation to many services including Whānau Ora services – we see some excellent examples of the benefits and successes as well as some ‘misses’ and we use this to advocate for services reflecting on these as part of being ‘learning organisations’.
Experimentation is widely recognised as a fundamental of a learning organisation. Few changes in complex organizations work perfectly when first introduced and most require modification over time to achieve optimum results. It is not even unusual for services that have implemented recent innovations to perform worse for up to a year or two to capture the intended benefits.
The Whānau Ora model may be less than perfect or been inconsistently applied, however learning from the experiences and best practices of others is a major factor in success and the knowledge gained from failures can often be the most helpful.
We hope that the review findings build on an emerging community of practice, the innovations in how to implement the model and use the less successful outcomes as a basis for learning, growing and continually improving.
We also hope and wish goodwill and peace for all over the Christmas and holiday season.


This blog has been contributed by a member of the ComVoices network. The views presented here are not necessarily those of ComVoices.

ComVoices is a Wellington based network of national community and voluntary sector organisations. It was established so that sector organisations would have a more powerful voice at Government level and in the community.

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