Rotorua Launch for the Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective

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A whānau-friendly support service that helps families transform their lives is being officially launched in Rotorua this week (beginning 4 March 2013).

Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective – located at the Korowai Aroha Health Centre on Hinemoa Street – has been working for more than a year to build a system that meets the needs of whānau by supporting them to dream, plan and achieve their goals.

An interactive, responsive and graphic-rich website filled with whānau-friendly tools and resources as well as a Facebook page will also be unveiled.

The collective comprises nine Rotorua-based health and social service providers: Aroha Mai Cancer Support; Korowai Health Services; Te Rōpu a Iwi o Te Arawa Charitable Trust; Te Kahui Hauora Trust; Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa; Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao; Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust; Te Waiariki Purea Trust; and Tipu Ora Charitable Trust.

According to project manager Mala (Ngaroma) Grant, Te Arawa Whānau Ora is about reminding whānau that they have the right to dream.

“We begin working together with them to create a plan that recognises family strengths while giving them the support they need to transform their dreams to a reality,” Ms Grant explains.

“Trained paearahi navigators work with whānau to find the strengths within each family and then use those strengths to create positive change. For some, it may be about learning to budget and use their money more wisely; for others, it might be about tackling issues such as family and domestic violence.

Most importantly, the change comes from within each whānau, helping to ensure long-term whānau wellbeing.”

Empowering Whānau

Kuia Betty Rodgers was part of a whānau gathering that dealt with the wellbeing of her whānau.

“This journey has brought us closer together as a whānau – it has made us more peaceful and calm by reminding us to practice better values.

“We’ve walked away more positive and are passing on what we’ve learned to others we love.”

Ms Grant says the key to Whānau Ora lies in supporting families to realise the power they have within themselves to change the future.

“It is about bringing people together and reconnecting them to their greatest support base: their own whānau.

“Each whānau path is different yet all are built on the idea that supporting one another – from the very young to the very old – is critical to family wellbeing.”

 Developing Whānau-Friendly Resources Online

Ms Grant says the website offers information that is relevant to each generation from tamariki (children) through to kaumatua (elders). Visitors are able to create CVs, get useful tips on how to budget and save money for their tamariki.

As well as links to free gardening courses, education and on-the-job training opportunities, the website showcases the range of support services offered by providers within the collective.

“Over time, the website will evolve with more resources being added every week. We hope to provide a place for whānau to both begin and continue their journey through Whānau Ora.”

To connect with Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective:

For more information including images and interviews, contact Hellen Messenger on phone +64 7 213 1995 or email comms@tearawawhanauora.org.nz

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