Firstly, can I convey on behalf of our board and staff a big congratulations to Phylesha Brown-Acton Manager of F’INE (our Whanau Ora Pasifika LGBTQI Services) for receiving a Queens Honour as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her significant work within the LGBTQI for many, many years. We are all so very proud of you Phylesha, your wonderful leadership and amazing hard work against the many barriers this work faces every day.

However, this is a time to reflect on this work and continue to champion the challenges that our people have to work with.

On another note, during the month of June our focus has been about completing our annual year (30 June) really well but mostly includes our continuing service delivery to our customers and reviewing our own performance as an organisation. While there are some really good elements of our service that we do well, we are constantly reminded each day when we let a customer down, fail to communicate properly or not providing enough support to our employees. So we are always challenged by the realities of our work with our customer and we are constantly endeavouring to provide the best services with timeliness and quality. 

I recently have been saying that our services are ‘mostly’ good and we are moving towards “mostly” great services.  While “perfection” can be attained with some customers it is more of a work in progress for most customers due to the nature and expectations of our work. On top of this, I really want to thank all of our hardworking staff from Support workers who are out there each day to a great support team of coordinators from the office.

To our Whanau Ora Navigators who do a great job with our families who have achieved some amazing outcomes for themselves. Some people may not necessarily appreciate it but our staff do generally go beyond their job description in order to support customers and fellow workers and reflects our core values of service to our communities and each other, so I say thank you, thank you, thank you, meitaki maata e kia manuia, it is always appreciated. 

Also, there is a lot happening in our wider community with many announcements and meetings since the Wellness Budget was released on 30th May. As I indicated last month we are really pleased overall and especially as there is more investment into the Whanau Ora services, but we are simply waiting to see how this may affect our own implementation of services going forward.
You will get a good sense of how our workers go beyond what is expected by reading Meliame Paea’s story our Employee of the month and you may also appreciate the insights of NJ’s story of Microcephaly and Retinal Dystrophy another must read.

We also had plenty of activities among our Whanau Ora families who participated in our Money Smart programme with Fonua Ola as well other families being involved with our “Boot Camp” health and fitness programme facilitated by the Lion’s Den” team who did a great job.

There is always much to do and so much more to accomplish, but it all starts with doing the small things well.  As you know the days are shorter and the weather is much cooler, so make sure you get your flu vaccinations, keep well, eat healthily, make your favourite soup and share it with some family and friends.  So let’s continue to look after each other better.

Meitaki maata e kia manuia

Hamish Crooks

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