Te Pūtahitanga contributing to change
The Chair of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Norm Dewes, welcomes the recognition from the Productivity Commission that
Whānau Ora holds much potential to improve Māori wellbeing and mana whakahaere.
“We are pleased that the contribution Te Pūtahitanga is making to transformative change to build sustainable whānau
capability has been acknowledged by the Commission” said Mr Dewes.
The report describes the distinctive role that Te Pūtahitanga plays in the Whānau Ora sector, in terms of being owned
and driven by the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu.
The report notes, “this arrangement gives iwi a strong ability to hold the commissioning agency to account, and to link with Te Puni Kōkiri
and Ministers through the Whānau Ora Partnership Group. At the same time, it allows each iwi to maintain its
distinctiveness and adopt an approach that aligns with its values and aspirations”.
“Such recognition is important for our whānau in the South” said Mr Dewes. “We agree with the Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu
submission to the Productivity Commission that framing situations as problems could have the effect of undermining the
existing strengths of whānau. Our focus is uniquely driven around achieving results based on the six Whānau Ora
outcomes, as represented in our ORA index (Opportunity for Realisation of Aspirations).
The Productivity Commission represents this as “Te Pūtahitanga supports flax roots innovation and whānau writing their
own futures”. It also understands that commissioning organisations may need to adopt different service models to cover
urban and rural populations respectively. A differentiated response is likely more effective than a one size fits all.
From our perspective in Te Pūtahitanga we liken this to the convergence of many rivers – each leading to outcomes for
better lives for our whānau”.
“We are pleased to see the Productivity Commission’s recommendation that ‘in making decisions about whether and how to
devolve the commissioning and delivery of social services for Māori, government should give Māori opportunities to
exercise mana whakahaere”. They explain this further as a dedicated budget, sufficient decision rights over that budget,
effective resource allocation to where resources can have the most effect and improved accountability for results”.
“This is exactly the type of message that we hope Government will hear – that a broad investment approach opens up new
possibilities. We reiterate the statement made in our submission and included by the Productivity Commission in their
report that we are disappointed that across government agencies, other than Te Puni Kōkiri, it would not yet appear that
the transformational potential of Whānau Ora is being supported in cross-sectoral-investment”.
“Te Pūtahitanga is proud of the progress it is seeing in the 23 initiatives it has commissioned across Te Waipounamu,
and looks forward to seeing the response of Government to some strong direction for future commissioning in the report