December 2013: A Whānau Ora plan is different, because generally it’s done across generations, it will include parents, grandparents, tamariki, rangatahi, aunties and uncles. It is also planned over a period of months and sometimes years. Whānau Ora plans can include anything from cultural goals, employment and finance goals, health and well-being goals to educational and training focused goals, most times, it includes many of each.
This was the case for the Ormsby whānau when they began their journey through Whānau Ora.
The central goal of the whānau was based around the whānau homestead and surrounding whenua. Their homestead is of profoundly emotional and sentimental value. The whānau home represents both the spiritual and cultural connection the whānau have to the stories and wairua of their tupuna. This space also represents the physical connection the whānau have to their whenua, Korokoro, their turangawaewae.
So ensuring that this special place of profound significance is maintained for current and future generations was a priority for all three generations who worked together on this Whānau Ora plan.
The goals of the whānau also extended to nurturing one another and importantly their rangatahi and tamariki in ways that would lead to a legacy of success and achievement. This included goals focused on healthy lifestyles, educational success and strengthening of cultural connections.
The Role of the Paeārahi
While the whānau were organised and focused the support of their paeārahi was essential because it allowed for independent guidance and support in navigating through the challenges of working on plan of such significance which involved so many people over an extended period of time.
Having a trained support navigator helps to guide whānau reminding them that they are driving their own plans and giving them tools which can help families empower themselves.
The outcomes continue to impact on the whānau. The homestead is coming together and maara kai have been planted. They now meet regularly and continue to work on their plan. A unique whānau waiata has been created. It tells the story of the whānau, their whakapapa, their place to stand.
As with all large-scale, long term projects, relationships have been challenged yet strengthened as a result and most importantly, their children have seen how planning and working together as a whānau has been a powerful unifier, bringing the family even closer together then before, creating resilience, strength and fortitude.