On Monday 16th April 2018, Pacific Homecare had the privilege of hosting a short visit with the new Minister of Whanau Ora, the Hon. Peeni Henare.
Invited by Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency Pasifika Futures (PFL) Minister Henare was treated to a plethora of cultural experiences and stories of empowerment through Whanau Ora.
Guided by his mantra “see, touch, feel, hear, taste”, PFL took the minister on a journey through providers and customers of the Whanau Ora programme. The day was jam packed full of meet and greets from board members all the way to customers.
The Minister visited with two providers in Auckland. CIDANZ (Cook Islands Development Agency New Zealand) who encourage and support the development of local entrepreneurs, and Pacific Homecare.
As a core provider, Pacific Homecare work directly with the more vulnerable families in our community. Our wholistic approach means we work with the family and not just the individual. Sometimes this means connecting them with services such as budget advise, weight loss, business classes, etc.
It was important for us to connect with the minister and highlight the need for Whanau Ora for these families; but also, to communicate the many different services the families are connected to through Whanau Ora.
Following a traditional Cook Island welcome ceremony (Turou), the minister was taken on a tour of the office before refreshments and talanoa.
We heard the story of a single mum with six children making ends meet and the impact a service like Whanau Ora has on days when she is destitute.
We heard the story of an LGBTIQI youth who was near suicidal but ‘brought back’ with the help of FÍNE and Whanau Ora.
We also heard from the likes of Fonua Ola regarding their delivery of the Money Smarts service, as well Metua Pakari our elderly and families in Glen Innes
The day ended with a dinner hosted by Pasifika Futures in the Ministers honour which included, Hon Aupito William Sio and Hon Jenny Salesa, Whānau Ora network of providers and their staff, Pasifika Futures board members, staff and families.
We’re thankful to Pasifika Futures and Minister Henare for this time. It was indeed an honour and a privilege.