West Auckland’s one-stop Whānau Ora hub

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Establishing the Whānau Ora Centre is the fulfilment of a long held dream by the elders of West Auckland to lift Māori health standards and well-being back in the 1980s.

According to CEO of Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust, John Tamihere, “The Whānau House is the realising of a dream by the elders back in the day, like Uncle Jack Wihongi, aunty Tuini Hakaraia, Don Rameka and Mavis Tuoro, they laid the platform and the guiding principle for that dream was "Progressively act in Unity.”

The centre has five levels where families can access more than 70 services.

These services include, primary health care in the GP clinic, dental and pharmacy services as well as a range of secondary services offered by the Waitematā District Health Board with the focus being to locate specialists' services closer to whānau and the west Auckland community.

The National Urban Māori Authority is the Parent body for the Whānau Ora Collective, which Te Whānau o Waipareira is a part of, and CEO of NUMA, Willie Jackson, has nothing but praise for Tamihere and Te Whānau o Waipareira for their success and commitment to the kaupapa and to the community of Waitākere, although they have no Government funding.

“That's been our purpose from the beginning, Waipareira and MUMA working together to fight for our urban Māori families,” says Jackson.

Waipareira's 25-Year Strategic Plan launched in 2013, is actually 5 years ahead of time according to John Tamihere.

Manukau Urban Māori Authority chairman Willie Jackson says he also has plans and dreams for the people of South Auckland similar to other iwi groups, and Waipareira Trust who put people first.