Whānau Development Summit

Whānau Development Summit Speech

Te Papa -
Thank you to everyone who has joined us today to examine how to create enabling environments that support Thriving Whānau.

  • I welcome Erena Mikaere - our Keynote speaker, from the Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Project.  This project is a great example of the strength of community to drive transformational change for whānau.  I will leave the outcomes for Erena to share.  But as we listen today I want us to reflect on what we can do to replicate these characteristics in our work across the public sector and alongside the philanthropic sector. 
  • I want to acknowledge the key characteristics of change:
    • Leadership, having a common purpose
    • Partnership (co-design), collaboration and inclusion
  • A whānau development approach will underpin how Te Puni Kōkiri will focus its efforts on supporting the aspirations, innovation and opportunities that will emerge from this approach to achieve intergenerational transformation.
  • This requires the Ministry to be connected to communities, knowledgeable about their realities, supportive of their ideas and resourceful in designing their own solutions.  Essentially being the waharoa to realising opportunities, not a gate.
  • Today is an opportunity to ask any questions, to explore ideas, and share your own experiences for whānau development.
  • Investing in the capability of a whānau development for iwi organisations is fundamental to long-term transformational change. 
  • When I think about the legacy contribution of Te Puea in my own community, the impact of her whānau-centric approach remains today.
  • Te Puni Kōkiri will also share their ‘whānau development’ learnings and how this has evolved their policy contribution and delivery approach to improve outcomes for whānau – but they cannot do it alone.  We need the entire public sector to support that shift, and the NGO sector need capacity investment to support that shift.
  • This Summit is a chance to wānanga a whānau-centred approach, how it works in practice and how you can apply this to your own organisation.
  • More importantly it is a chance for us to talk collectively about how government agencies and the philanthropic sector can work together in partnership with whānau to develop their development aspirations.  I guess it is a social impact investment opportunity that we are contributing to.
  • Many of the attendees at this Summit have been chosen because you are investment decision-makers and thought-leaders from across the public and philanthropic sectors.
  • Not only are Te Puni Kōkiri and the whānau representatives speaking today keen to share their experiences - Te Puni Kōkiri is also keen to work with you in future to support and implement a whānau-centred approach and determine a social impact investment approach.
    Thriving Whānau:  
  • Each whānau have their own context and experiences that shape their reality.
  • The whānau you will hear from today, and many others, are whānau with vision, aspiration, resilient, and deal with challenges and capitalise on opportunities.
  • They are thriving Māori Whānau resilient to the ups and downs of life.
  • Today you will gain some insights into the lives and actions of whānau who have aspired to take the lead, to seize the opportunity and to be innovative in building and sustaining wellbeing.
  • For example, we have
    • The Matekuare Whānau Trust in Te Whaiti not far from Minginui. 
    • The Waikai Whānau in Taupiri. 
    • The Turner Whānau in Ngaruawahia. 
    • The Tawhai Whānau in Hastings …. and
    • The Whareponga Papakāinga Trust on the East Coast. 
  • From Te Kāo in the Far North to Koukourata in the South.  We are supporting whānau to unlock the potential of their whenua through development in horticulture, honey, hemp and solar energy, to name a few, they are exploring it all.
  • Matekuare Whānau Trust: In Te Whaiti, a place you will travel through on your way to Minginui in the Central North Island, the Matekuare Whānau Trust looks after 50 hectares of Māori land.  There are around 67 owners and many whānau beneficiaries. 
  • The Trust have, out of the box, aspirations for their land which includes things like the development of a mind machinery zone, data enabled health proofed homes, alongside more conventional notions of development – commercial, agricultural and horticultural zones which includes goat milking. 
  • The initial Matekuare Trust engagement with Te Puni Kōkiri was initially about papakāinga development.  But their vision, as you can see, is for a ‘living village’, which is so much bigger than what Te Puni Kōkiri, as a single agency, can support.
  • As such our staff in the regions become the bridge, developing relationships with Councils to navigate resource consent processes, brokering relationships with tertiary institutions to create future proof homes, and helping unlock our own processes to get papakāinga built.  This is what whānau led development looks like.  This is what collaboration and co-design with whānau can lead to.
  • As separate departments and agencies, you will have specific focus areas, but you are all here today because you recognise the need to have wider awareness, perhaps more of a helicopter view and better coordination across your sectors.  You all recognise the potential to create better, more enduring, inter-generational outcomes for thriving whānau through this approach.
  • Given 219,122 hectares of Māori owned land has been identified for development under the Whēnua Māori, we will be looking to work collaboratively with many of you to realise the future sustainability from cultural wealth to economic development.  The potential of our collective prosperity is the responsibility of the collective and more particularly in the hands of whānau led solutions.  We acknowledge that there is still much to be done, but we must make every effort to start the process and to participate in partnership with you.  I welcome your inquiry.
  • Collaboration and partnership: If you ask whānau what they want, they will tell you.  I don’t know of any whānau that doesn’t have dreams or want to improve in some way.  Our conversations with whānau often turn to access, to resource, to investment, and support.  There are some awesome stories of collaboration and success that have occurred and continue to happen across the country.  They have been life changing examples of success.
  • I am excited by the innovation emerging through whānau enterprise.  Kii Tahi Limited of Ngā Rauru are developing their relationship with a National supermarket chain to explore an opportunity for their freeze dried smoothie solution.  Te Tira Toi Whakangao Limited who are working in a digital media space; and Reureu Kotahitanga have developed a local entrepreneurship programme to deliver targeted education and support the needs of whānau and rangatahi.  This has a direct connect with Te Pae Tawhiti, the Māori regional economic strategy for Manawatu – Whanganui.
  • Metrics and evaluation: It is important to be able to measure the growth, the change and the transformation that is occurring. The workshop today being led by our some of our leading thought leaders in statistics, evaluation and measurement.  Today Kirikowhai Mikaere, Dr Amohia Boulton and Darin Bishop will share with you the system changes they believe are required to measure the impact of change and transformation for Whānau.
  • Some of this transformation change will be self-evident for example, the Turner Whānau, who are here today will talk about their journey in Ngaruawahia which started with a Whānau Integration and Innovation plan.  From this plan they have built an eight bedroom papakāinga and started up a thriving mussel fritter business.  They too have bold plans for the future - which I will leave Rangita to share with you - Te Puni Kōkiri have weaved in and out of their journey and will continue to do so.  They like other whānau who are sharing their journey have become an exemplar to other whānau keen to start their own journey.
  • Today, you will unpack the why, the how and the what of these whānau accomplished in an effort to understand more deeply, what whānau led development looks like and how we as a collective public sector need to improve to support them.  Whānau progression and change across a range of indicators is reported to Te Puni Kōkiri on a quarterly basis.  In a nutshell, this reporting shows a development trend and compelling narrative of whānau moving out of transacting crisis and in to transformational change.  Sometimes this change is profound, and as a model, we know that a ‘whānau-centred approach’ works. 
  • Butterfly effect- narrative about the opportunity cost: But my challenge to all of you is, aside from the really obvious markers of change that will result from supporting whānau development, how do we track the ‘butterfly effect’ of this change and its impact on things like regional economies, or industry, or civic participation, or education? 
  • Can we make the link between secure housing, better health and enhanced cultural identity for instance?  Can we further link this to better employment outcomes and higher household income?  This is the data story that matters.  These are the indicators of change which will substantiate transformation and the intergenerational benefits of a whānau-centred, whānau-led approach. 
  • With this information we are better able to develop a narrative about whānau development that highlights the opportunity cost of not pursuing this approach.  For instance – let’s follow the cultural identity line a little further.  We know that better housing usually equates to healthier whānau, and for the purposes of this scenario we are saying whānau can now attend school more regularly and further develop their reo acquisition.  If this occurred at a bigger scale and we moved the language rate by say 10 percentage points nationally, would we see more Māori kids leaving school with NCEA Level two or higher, more attending tertiary institutions and more gaining tertiary level qualifications?  What impact would this have on beneficiary statistics, prison populations and employment projections for Māori? 
  • Clearly, there is a bigger story about the butterfly effect of whānau development and the inverse cost of not investing in it but we need good metrics to tell it well.  Kua takoto te mānuka, kawea ake!
  • Policy: Of course the glue that ties co-design and evaluation together is the development of good policy to umbrella your approaches and the delivery of your services.  The tools that will be shared with you today, are intended to enable you to design your own bespoke whānau centred policy approaches.  In the same way that Te Puni Kōkiri looks to support whānau to be in control of their own journeys, it is also the intention of this forum for you all to be empowered to develop your own whānau centred approaches.  For some of you, this kind of change will be quite confronting and uncomfortable, but traditional policy approaches have delivered poor outcomes for Māori.  So I encourage you to be agile.  Consider the opportunity we have within the context of a Living Standard Framework to power up an approach that delivers intergenerational transformation.
  • There are many things to admire about the whānau development approach – as we consider a commissioning for outcomes model for instance, a strength-based model, and holistic and integrated systems to underpin whānau centred policy. 
  • Government priorities:  We are a government that recognises that resilient whānau and communities are the backbone of our society.  This is reflected in our twelve priorities which are grouped under three main themes:


  • Building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy
  • Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families
  • Ensuring new leadership by government
  • A government focussed on developing its people: This includes continuing to build a relationship between iwi Māori and the Crown in a post-settlement era, a strong commitment to reducing poverty particularly for children and a reinvestment in the regions. These are seeds that will grow New Zealand to be the kind, caring and healthy country it has always aspired to be.
  • Whānau Ora as a microcosm of system change: Whānau Ora, as a model, is a microcosm of the system change that is required to address the inequity and poverty experienced by some of our most vulnerable populations.  
    The numbers here today are indicative of the recognition that the wider sector sees in the potential of the whānau development approach to completely revolutionise the way we deliver services and improve the life outcomes for whānau. 
  • It takes innovative leadership to pioneer different approaches.