$49.8m boost for Whānau Ora navigators

  • Te Ururoa Flavell
Whanau Ora Budget 2015

New operating funding of $49.8 million over the next four years will further support Whānau Ora navigators to work with whānau, aiga and families, Whānau Ora Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.

This new funding will allow the continuation of Whānau Ora navigators, who play a critical role in Whānau Ora,” he says. “They act as brokers for whānau and support them to achieve their goals.

“As a result, whānau are seeing improvements across a broad range of outcomes, including accessing relevant services, being employment-ready and adopting healthier lifestyle choices.”

A 2015 Ministry of Health report highlights that around 60 per cent of patients enrolled in a sample of Whānau Ora general practices are high needs patients, compared with only a quarter of patients in a national sample.

In the report, the Ministry of Health selected 11 health indicators to compare the performance of Whānau Ora general practices with the performance of a national sample of general practices.

The Whānau Ora sample performed the same as or better in eight of the 11 indicators, despite having a large proportion of high needs patients.

The greatest improvements to the end of 2014 were in cardiovascular disease, smoking cessation and diabetes patient review.

New funding for Whānau Ora navigators will be allocated to Whānau Ora commissioning agencies, to enable about 230 navigators to work with whānau and families within their areas of focus.

The commissioning agencies are required to meet a range of expectations, including annual investment plans and reporting on expenditure and outcomes.

“This funding demonstrates the Government’s on-going commitment to Whānau Ora, in particular the potential for Whānau Ora commissioning agencies to invest in greater outcomes for whānau,” Mr Flavell says.

“As I said earlier this month when responding to the Auditor-General’s report on Whānau Ora, the report acknowledged the value of taking an innovative public policy approach to supporting families in need.

“At the same time, we can all take some valuable lessons from the report, and we will do so.”