What does a healthy future for the people of Waitaha / Canterbury look like?

Cantabrians have been asked to share their thoughts on what they and their whānau need for their health and wellbeing / hauora.

The project, called Pae Ora ki Waitaha, is being led by the Population Health and Access Service Level Alliance (PHASLA) to explore how the health system can better support people and their whānau (family) to be healthy and well. 

Pae Ora ki Waitaha Clinical Lead Dr Lynley Cook says the health service can support people in many ways to stay well and that the group was interested to see how we as a health system can do this best. 

Pae ora is a holistic concept and includes three connected elements, including Mauri ora – healthy individuals, Whānau ora – healthy families and Wai ora – healthy environments.

“We are particularly committed to hearing from priority community groups, including Māori, Pasifika, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), youth, older people, Rainbow, rural, people with a lived experience of disability and those with mental health and addiction issues,” says Lynley.

The project team are in a listening phase now, which includes community conversations and a survey asking people what being healthy means to them, and suggestions for how the health system can support this. They are also looking at previous reports and conversations, so they know what the community have previously said. 

“The information we have gathered so far is rich, diverse and reflective of our community. We are hearing a strong theme that people want to be recognised as a whole person in a holistic way and they want the health system to take this approach and also consider traditional and spiritual practices.” 

The team is also hearing that there are some excellent services available but accessing them can be challenging. 

“We know the health system often works in silos and that we now need to work together better. We also need to ensure every moment that someone encounters the health system is seen as an opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing.” 

“The next phase is taking what we have heard and presenting it to the wider health system. We want to ensure the system hears and responds to what we have learnt, and we hope it will lead to a culture shift about how we support people, so our community can flourish and live their best life.” 

The working group is currently going through the information gathered and an interim report will be presented to the Alliance Leadership Team and the Canterbury DHB in August.

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