On Wednesday the 12th of September, as part of the South Auckland Whanau Ora providers, navigators and families, we hosted a Talanoa session with the Whanau Ora Review Panel at the Pasifika Centre at MIT in Otara.
The purpose of this engagement was to answer Whanau Ora review questions through the ‘Our Way Experiences’ with the use of stories and talanoa circles with partners, navigators, and families.
Included in our Talanoa sessions were Southseas Healthcare, Fonua Ola, F’INE, Vaka Tautua, CIDANZ (Cook Islands Development Agency of New Zealand), ATHWA (Aotearoa Tongan Health Workers Association), and Otahuhu College.
We were joined by some members and support staff of the Whanau Ora Review panel who were selected by government to run an independent review of Whanau Ora. The intention of the review is to ensure that Whānau Ora is providing better outcomes in the community to respond to the diverse needs of whānau and families.
The day was a mix of Provider Leaders, Navigators and family members all sharing their stories openly and all attendees given an opportunity to share their feedback in Talanoa Circles to the review panel members.
“We want to be able to learn from our families on ways we can provide a better service,” says CIDANZ Chief Executive Rouruina Brown
“We need to build relationships first off to get our families to open up to us ……. the health issues we are able to address while working with our families is amazing,” says Solo Aiono, Operations Manager for Southseas Health.
The panel representatives were treated to different stories and feedback on what works well in both core commissioning and innovation models for whanau, what works well for navigators, what are some challenges the navigators face, and some recommendations based on their collective experiences.
In her address to the groups about why it was important they were present at these sessions, Chair of the Panel, Caren Rangi stated: “we need to find some way to communicate how Whanau Ora helps families”
While there was overwhelming feedback on the benefits Whanau Ora brings, there are still areas that can be looked at for improvement. Last Wednesday’s session was hopefully fruitful for the review panel, we certainly felt it was worthwhile.
Some family feedback shared on the day were:
“We are able to prioritise our needs now that we have learnt the difference between wants and needs”
“I learnt a lot about health through Vaka Tautua like insulin levels”
“The parenting programmes through Fonua Ola was really helpful”