By the Honorable Tariana Turia
As I end one era and take my first tentative steps forward into the future, I am so proud of everything that the people have shown me they are capable of through Whānau Ora. Whānau Ora has always been about enabling whānau to take back control of their own lives and make decisions for themselves. It is about self-determination and independence, our health and wellbeing, our future.
Endings are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. In life; some things are never-ending. For me Whānau Ora is all of that. It is about walking the talk in every aspect of our life - not just those we take up during working hours.
I remember the story that Te Arawa Whānau Ora shared of Louise Leef earlier on this year, when she talked about her determination to create a legacy for her mokopuna that would be one of positivity, healthy living and strength. That is the type of thinking that I believe whānau transformation is about. We have to believe that we can face every challenge. We have to have faith that what we are doing today will make a difference tomorrow for the future generations to benefit from.
I have loved reading all the stories that the Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective have so generously given the motu. You have demonstrated the power of Paearahi (navigators) in supporting whānau to work towards their dreams.
Te Arawa Whānau Ora have been willing to share stories of initiatives such as the Koha Shed which helps families to help themselves. They have provided information about leadership in action; reported on the fun of the Te Arawa games, regularly surveyed whānau so you can be confident that your work is truly driven by whānau.
I am so proud that one of yours, Te Ururoa Flavell, has been appointed to the role of Minister for Whānau Ora and I have every confidence in his ability to learn from the leadership of whānau and Whānau Ora initiatives right across Aotearoa.
One of my last responsibilities as Minister and Co-leader of the Māori Party was to sign up to a Relationship Accord which clearly states that “ongoing investment in Whānau Ora” is a key priority for the Government.
That Accord is entitled ‘Te Tatau ki te Paerangi – a doorway to our horizons’. There is nothing that pleases me more than to know that our future is bright for all our whānau, and of course our mokopuna.
Hon Tariana Turia