National iwi hui wants funding and resources to take care of whānau

By Herewini Waikato

More than 250 Māori providers, support groups, and leaders of iwi from around the country who specialise in health, justice, education, social well-being, and prosperity are taking part in a two-day Iwi Chairs Forum national hui in Kirikiriroa named Te Ora o Te Whānau.

They are planning a report to take to the government seeking more input by Māori.

Pou Tangata co-chair Dame Naida Glavish said: “No one else should be directing us about what’s best for our health and well-being it should be us alone.”

The forum, Pou Tangata, has six Iwi leader groups whose objective is to increase the opportunity for iwi to participate in decision-making matters affecting te ao Māori, Te Ora o Te Whānau, Oranga Tamariki, Justice, Mātauranga, Data, Rangatahi and Hauora.

Pou Tangata co-chairs Rahui Papa and Dame Naida Glavish

For this event, the forum discussed a report collated during a roadshow earlier in the year. Pou Tangata met whānau in their communities around the country and asked what they wanted in terms of health, justice, education, social well-being, and prosperity, what were the issues and how they wanted the changes made.

Now the data has been collated and hui participants will work together to find solutions for the needs and issues in their communities. 

Issues found were high levels of poverty, homelessness, health inequalities, high living costs, mental illness, high rental prices, high cost of food, and the high cost of petrol.

Māori come together to tackle issues. 

How to correct the mistakes

“This is why we have collated this and are now sharing to our networks to show where we are at, what whānau want to be done and how,” hui co-chair Rahui Papa said.

Pou Tangata broke down the findings into three tasks up for discussion and solutions at the hui; mana ōrite or shared decision making, oranga or as an individual, and whānau and hononga, the connections and investments in digital systems.

“At this meeting, we can express what we have learned that was good and not so good and how we can correct those mistakes. We all have a role to play in the well-being of whānau from tuakana to teina, koroua to mokopuna. This is where the answers lie within our own tikanga,” Glavish said.

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare gave a speech via digital video, sharing his support in working with the Iwi Chairs Forum for the betterment of whānau.

“The No.1 issue for whānau is the cost of living, while we are finding ways to ease this pressure. We believe by working together with Iwi we can further support better well-being outcomes for our whānau” he said.