“Measuring the Economic Impact of Whanau Ora Programmes - He Toki ki te Mahi Case Study”
Ko Whiti-reia te turanga
Ko Te Hononga te whare
Ko Otakaro te awa
Tēnā koutou katoa,
Can I acknowledge everyone who has gathered here on this occasion - Arihia Bennett; Chief Executive Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Dr Eruera Tarena, Chief Executive, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Dr Hana O’Regan, General Manager, Oraka, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Trevor Taylor and Amoroa (Molly) Luke, chairs of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Professor Paul Dalziel AERU and Cath Savage Ihi Research.
When I was asked by Te Putahitanga if I would receive this report “Measuring the Economic Impact of Whanau Ora Programmes - He Toki ki te Mahi Case Study” in the context of the Social Enterprise World Forum that is happening here in Christchurch this month, I was keen to do so.
I want to explain why. Since the earthquakes happened I have become a champion of resilience. Not in the 'gosh you are all so resilient, and by that I really mean stoic' sense and not in the sense of an international catchphrase that has become code for governments abandoning vulnerable communities to a market they have no say or control over.
I talk about resilience as a powerful word that captures a capacity to absorb, adapt and thrive in the face of adversity whether it's a shock or chronic stress. It's also about the ability to co-create a vision for the future and take charge of ensuring that it happens no matter what.
Pioneers who settled this land, from those who journeyed across the Pacific Ocean from East Polynesia to Te Waipounamu to those who sailed from the British Isles centuries later, brought with them stories of resilience. And so too is the reclaiming of the status of Ngai Tahu in this city and region.
It is this story in particular that reinforces my very strong view that a high trust environment is a pre-requisite to building resilience. We are building a relationship of trust as a city with Ngai Tahu and with the Papatipu Rūnanga of our area. We have established a joint standing committee of Council - the first in the history of our city - and much of the central city redesign has incorporated Maori history as part of the landscape, with Matapopore working hand in hand with central government, council and the private sector. Trust is a prerequisite.
It's very easy to say that people have lost trust in governments - central and local alike. We use phrases like alternative facts and fake news so that we, can quietly mock those who think their messages are getting through. But those messages are getting through and we are to blame. Trust cannot survive these times when people will not engage.
My focus on post-disaster environments after the earthquakes has led me to understand that loss of trust in government is not the only issue. Governments have stopped trusting the people. For too long governments think they have to fix our problems for us. As long as we think of communities as problems to be solved we will continue in that vein.
I have been introduced into the world of ABCD - asset-based community development - and the strengths-based approach, it asks us to employ, in order to tackle the challenges we need to confront as communities.
Instead of looking at problems, we look instead to the community’s strengths - the assets that always exist. We look at the level of social capital - and how that can be built - because we know that what we invest in social capital will reap benefits way beyond that investment when we need to make a withdrawal.
When I consider the measurement of Whanau Ora as being achieved when whanau are:
Living healthy lifestyles
Participating fully in society
Confidently participating in Te Ao Maori
Economically secure and successfully involved in wealth creation
Cohesive, resilient and nurturing
Responsible stewards of their natural and living environments,
I see an immediate connection between asset-based community development and Whanau Ora.
It is from this kaupapa that I receive this report “Measuring the Economic Impact of Whanau Ora Programmes - He Toki ki te Mahi Case Study”. This is an extraordinary report that provides economic proof that building capability through a Whānau Ora commissioning approach pays off - in this case by an incredible ratio of 7.1!
W will hear tonight about He Toki ki te Rika, a Māori trades training initiative in partnership with ARA, focused on building Māori capability and leadership within the trades workforce, and how that feeds into He Toki Ki Te Mahi.
This is a model of social enterprise that leads us into the world forum in a special way. This report challenges our assumptions about traditional approaches, favouring the partnership model. And the ripple effects of this programme haven't even been begun to be quantified either.
The report ends as follows:
“It is likely that the benefits considered in this analysis will ripple out though whānau, both in the present and in the future. This is a consequence of success in the Whānau Ora goal of whānau being “economically secure and successfully involved in wealth creation.”
Congratulations to those with the vision to establish this programme and for the researchers that will enable this approach to challenge the status quo because the status quo is not good enough if we are to make real change for the benefit of generations to come.
No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.