Te Pātaka - Te Oranganui Trust Incorporated

The Innovation: Whānau Ora Practitioner Training Programme

The Whānau Ora Practitioner Training Programme is for Māori working in community settings. It delivers 1500 hours of learning including marae-based training, homework and personal development as part of paid work practice.

The purpose of the Programme is to:

  • develop Whānau Ora Practitioners who have the skills and experience necessary to effectively engage and empower whānau
  • advance Whānau ora and affirm positive Māori approaches that improve Māori health outcomes
  • promote Māori service delivery systems that value health and social service integration and employ whānau-centred interventions
  • recognise service models that address the needs of whānau, hapū and iwi and Māori communities
  • enhance physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health, giving whānau control over their own destinies.

Te Oranganui – Whanau Ora Training Programme

Korowaitia te puna waiora, hei oranga motuhake mo te iwi

(Whakatauki Korero)

[Rangitihi Tahuparae, Kaitito] Ma, i te uranga o nga i tatou ki roto nga kauwai matauranga o tauiwi

Ina, onotia te peka Maori ki te rakau ra waho

E rereke tona ua me te rongo o tona kiko

Kati, tenei te oki ki nga whai aka a koro ma, a kui ma

What strategic process did Te Oranganui use to develop as a Whanau Ora training provider?

[Jennifer Tamehana, Chief Executive Officer, Te Oranganui 2001-2012] The reality for me was that Te Oranganui is a kaupapa-driven organisation.  It always has been and originally my own kuia, Nanny Nui, offered a kaupapa for Te Oranganui to establish known as Te Puna Waiora.  And when I became CEO in 2001, with the help of my father who happens to be Nanny Nui’s whangai brother and Nanny Nui as well, I was able to offer the completion of the kaupapa ake as it is today which is “Korowaitia te puna waiora, hei oranga motuhake mo te iwi”.

[Susan Osborne – He uri no Whanganui, Board of Trustees, Te Oranganui] The whole training and how it was set up was based from our kaupapa ake korero, so “Korowaitia te puna waiora, hei oranga motuhake mo te iwi”.  And then all of our values and principles were all part and parcel of the whole initiating and the whole structure of the training package itself.  The whole package itself was designed from our kaupapa ake – the values and the principles of our Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority organisation at the time.

What successes and challenges did Te Oranganui face with implementation?

[Jennifer Tamehana] There were many, many successes and we had our share of challenges as well.  Some of the challenges came from our own people and some came from others.  Perhaps if I could bring to mind some of the challenges that were in front of us at the time, but I do believe that the Board of Trustees who were leading Te Oranganui under my CEO leadership, I do believe that they were not fully committed in the beginning.

[Susan Osborne] The successes were the general feedback we got from our staff and if anything, equally as important as from our whanau.  Because they’re it – everything’s about the whanau.  But in order to have strength in whanau, we needed to have our kaimahi who – although many of them as I said before live and breathe Whanau Ora on a daily basis as soon as they open their karu – it was about just ensuring that there was an equilibrium across all of our staff.

[Jennifer Tamehana] I was passionate about what I was doing and I was able to write up documentation, but there was always the key issue that it wasn’t a conforming tohu.  It wasn’t an NZQA-registered tohu.

[Susan Osborne] Some of the challenges at the time, I have to say in all honesty we had some indifferences as a board.  Like any board, if you don’t fully understand the benefits of something and if it’s not your particular expertise then you may have some uncertainties.  We had many things going on at that time.  We had a bit of a deficit, which was quite a challenge for us as a board.  We were in the process of wanting to move to where we are currently today, and Kia kotahi ai to tatou, you know our organisation.  We had some other issues going on with our medical services and our service out at Castlecliff and Waverly, and there lots of things, many challenges for us at the time as a board.

What are the key factors when developing a training arm alongside an organisation like Te Oranganui?

[Jennifer Tamehana] When I wrote the business plan for Te Oranganui, which had the training as the driving force, I was very clear about the importance of setting up a subsidiary company to provide the training arm to complement the skills that our staff would get through an academic framework; but also to progress the training in a way to other organisations within our iwi, to other iwi who had signalled their interest and were prepared to pay.

[Reneti (Ned) Tapa, Te Oranganui] Also I gotta say that Jenny was at the time looking at… well she knew being CEO for 10-11 years that she had got all the things as far as tauiwi were concerned all ticked off.  You know, all those boxes were ticked off.  What she did realise was that te ao Maori was missing in the organisation.  And this sort of came in at the right time when her life was sort of looking at the home side.  And it sort of all fell into place.

Whanau Ora Practitioners

What components of the Whanau Ora training programme were most useful and why?

[Reneti (Ned) Tapa] The most useful component I found in the Whanau Ora programme probably was the opportunity to view all of the Acts that Parliament / the Crown had passed through against Maori.  It wrote a picture.  It started the picture and made us realise, made me realise why a lot of our people are like we are.

[Chelsea Manuel, Te Oranganui] I guess the whakawhanaungatanga, that provided a good solid foundation for us as kaimahi that were training.  And also within my mahi, whakawhanaungatanga happens in all elements.  Yeah so I find that one the most useful for me.

[Teri Teki, Te Oranganui] The components I found most useful would’ve been the empowerment, which was whakawaatea.  And then whakariterite which was the conflict resolution.  So that enabled us to look at our own practices as Maori and use those practices to empower our whanau, while also using the same kind of practices to resolve conflicts within whanau, whatever they may be.

[Geoff Hipango, Social Worker, Te Kotuku Hauora o Rangitikei] I liked the concepts and the way that the tutors broke down mauriora, moreso in terms of what mauriora looks like, feels like, tastes like; and the components that constitute mauriora from a purely Maori perspective – ihi, wehi, and wana; and going through in terms of how do we then take those concepts and apply them in a helping situation?  Firstly, that which is relevant to yourself because you need to take some ownership about this; and then secondly, well then what does that look like in contemporary types of delivery when working with our whanau in the communities.

[Josephine (Pep) Taiaroa, Te Oranganui] Well it was broken down into five modules, probably got some value from each and every module.  But particularly what stood out for me was whakariterite, which was about conflict resolution and learning strategies and tools.  And yeah, taking some of the tools out of that and being able to use that in your everyday life.

What components of the Whanau Ora training programme do you use in your everyday practise?

[Teri Teki] Well because I’m a Service Manager, it’s more or less me supporting staff to utilise the tools themselves.  But one that we’ve implemented into the service as part of our day to day practice would be the whanau paradigm, which allows us to identify key relationships within whanau as well as services.  Pahe actually gave us a good kind of kupu for it which was whakapapa whanau and kaupapa whanau.  So it allows us to identify those kinds of relationships in whanau.

[Geoff Hipango] Well probably the most important one initially is around the whanaungatanga / establishing relationship.  Coming from the importance that sometimes whanau, when meeting with services, have an expectation that if you’re coming in as a social worker the thinking around that is negatively framed.  So really establishing that whanaungatanga, especially with our Maori whanau is really critical.

[Reneti (Ned) Tapa] Whanaungatanga.  Whakapapa.  Kai.  Korero.  What I use every time when I go to a family.  If they know you it sort of helps you get through the door.  There is a downside to that of course: if they know you too well, they don’t wanna tell you too much.  So you have to be careful where you go and who you’re going with to see.  But those are the ones – things that we use all the time.

[Chelsea Manuel] I guess we just start with karakia, e te tuatahi.  And mihimihi, whakapapa, pepeha – that always happens when I’m engaging with whanau.  And it’s also that opportunity for us to make connections.   So, I guess building on the relationship within the whanau is important, and it happens every day.

[Ripeneta Thompson-Moses, Te Oranganui] Whakawhanaungatanga is about trying to build a rapport; strengthening your relationship with each other in order to allow them to trust you to share their story with you.  And whakaoho mauri is about identifying what those issues are that are happening for them, and depending on what issues are presented will determine how you can plan a way forward.  So whakaohooho does that because when you do complete that process you then start to incorporate a care plan.  And that care plan will address the conflicts that have been going on for the family, which looks at all the raru I say that’s happening for them.  And then from there, they’ll be able to come at a place where they can celebrate because they can now see a way forward.

What makes these components relevant and useful in the development of whanau?

[Chelsea Manuel] For me, I guess it provides a good foundation to us as a people, to the way that we work.  And it also helps the whanau to gain some type of trust in us, when they understand that we’re working not only as representatives of an iwi organisation but also as representatives of our tupuna and of our marae.

[Reneti (Ned) Tapa] They allow us to get a foot in the door.  We have some families out there with some huge raru, and I mean huge raru.  And if can’t even get a foot in the door then we’re not going to be able to tautoko, to whakamana our families in need.

[Teri Teki] We need to know where they’ve come from in order to move forward.  So knowing what’s gone on in the past and then being able to look at whether there’s, for example, conflict to resolve so that we can move forward with them.  That definitely helps on the development pathway.

[Geoff Hipango] Probably goes back to the fact that I look the way that I look, and I’m talking to people who to a certain degree look the same way that I do.  And so immediately there’s a commonality right off the bat there needs to be substantiated further in terms of how you do the meet and the greet.  And that can put people a little bit more at ease and I think that’s part of the whanaungatanga.  If you can help people just feel a little bit more relaxed, you know be your authentic Maori self, it goes a long way towards at least opening the door – not only of the house but of the issues that you may be required to work with.

[Tina Johnston-Downs, Tupoho Social Services] This Whanau Ora, we also looked at the whakawatea – colonisation, ae.  And we looked at the effects that it had on our own tupuna.  And that was a tool that was quite touching for me, to be able to connect to my great-great-grandfather and what he went through back in 1820, ae.  And that whakawatea, that tool was able to give us a glimpse and a touch of what they had to go through, our people went through back then, ae.  And what was happening back in that history, that time.  So that gives you an opening to how you can bring that time – remembering that time back to now.

What components did you train to be the trainer of?

[Reneti (Ned) Tapa] The components that I enjoyed – the whole lot actually – had done previously in my previous life, had done Certificate in Adult Tutoring and Training.  So it was more just a refresher course.  The only difference in the training was that it was kaupapa Maori.

[Teri Teki] The components were the same.  It was the same kind of process.  But rather than being the student we were actually delivering the training.  So I guess if anything what it reaffirmed for me is that what I learned in the practitioner training is everything that we already knew.  And the new skills that I think I did pick up was that facilitation and delivery.

[Chelsea Manuel] To train that whole programme, be a trainer of that whole programme with the support of other co-facilitators.  So we did whakawhanaungatanga, whakawatea, whakariterite and whakaoho and whakaoho mauri.

[Tina Johnston-Downs] So yeah, I didn’t go on to become a trainer of Whanau Ora.  I went on to do the supervision to make sure that what I had learned I was actually implementing within my mahi.  I was actually doing it beforehand, but like I said before it highlighted everything in what we were actually doing anyway.  It gave a name to everything.  The whakariterite – whanau care plan, and how we would implement that.  Like a oho – goal setting with whanau, how we would go about doing that with our whanau, ae.  So that’s what I went back for the supervision and so I could become a practitioner.  Not go on and teach it though, just practice it.

[Susan Osborne] Mihi au i te tuatahi, te tupu aroha ki te kaupapa.  Te tuku mihi, tuku aroha ki oku nei matua, kei te ora tonu etehi, ana, kua pahore atu etehi atu.  No reira, ka tuku aroha ki te rerenga korero, ana, ko te korero o Te Oranganui te kaupapa ake – “Korowaitia te puna waiora, hei motuhake mo te iwi” – e au ki nga korero ira mona e au, na oku nei, a tetehi oku nei koia i te kaea nei, na te manawanui.  I homai tau rerenga korero rawe ake.  Te korero “Korowaitia te puna waiora” nana tau e korero, e ariki nga korero o taku koroheke, te tungane o te manawanui taku koroheke a William Aperahama te ki ra pou na puta gospel, nana i homai te korero, “Hei motuhake mo te iwi.”  No reira, i tenei wa, ka tuku mihi ki raua tahe, ki nga matua kua pahure, ara, ko taku whaea ko Ripeka, te koroheke nga tupuna katoa a Koro Pestel, Uncle Matiu, ratou katoa, akoako ne koa ma.  No reira, tenei au te tuku aroha ki nga moemoea o nga matua tupuna, te kume te rapu nei nga tikanga oranga mo ta matou iwi nei.

About Te Oranganui Trust Incorporated

Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority, based in Whanganui, was established in 1993 and is a leading Indigenous Health Organisation that offers quality, affordable, accessible services to Whānau, Hapū, Iwi and other people. The organisation delivers a range of whānau-centred health and social services throughout the region to Māori and Non Māori Whānau.

There are five key service areas within Te Oranganui:

  • Te Waipuna Primary Medical centre
  • Te Puāwai Whānau Family Start service
  • Te Korimako Community and Whānau service
  • Te Ara Toiora Disability Support service
  • Hinengaro Hauora Mental Health and Addictions service


Te Oranganui Trust Incorporated
57 Campbell Street

P O Box 611
Whanganui 4540

Phone: 06 349 0007
Fax: 06 345 6168
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.teoranganui.co.nz

Disclaimer: This page and the innovation it accompanies do not represent the views of the Ministry of Health.  The views represented are those of Te Oranganui Trust Incorporated and the innovation piloted.

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