Stage one of Pae Ora ki Waitaha complete

The Pae Ora ki Waitaha working group, which sits under the Population Health and Access Service Level Alliance, has completed stage one of a project to look at what people and their whānau need to be healthy and well. 

The project is being carried out in four stages – listening to priority communities and establishing foundations, developing a plan, implementing the plan, and further integration.

The working group has now completed the community conversations with priority communities including Māori, Pasifika, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALD), people living with disability, older persons, LGBTQIA+, those living rurally and youth. 

Hauora Māori and Equity Lead Ngaire Button says the primary aim was to whakarongorau (listen with our hearts) on how the Canterbury Health System can best support people/whānau to stay well and support their health and wellbeing. 

“The working group has heard compelling and challenging experiences from a wide range of Cantabrians and their whānau,” says Ngaire. 

“Some encouraging stories were things that individuals and small groups did that really made a difference to people’s experiences in the health system. This shows that we can make change for individuals and whānau and create wider change within communities.”

The key themes identified from initial community conversations included:

  • people have a holistic view of health and wellbeing and want to be recognised as a whole person rather than compartmentalised according to health conditions;
  • priority communities want to be heard; at times they feel invisible and marginalised;
  • barriers to accessing health care services persist, including cost, availability and navigating the System;
  • self-determination is vital for wellbeing;
  • health workforce diversity and skills make a difference to people’s engagement with the health system (Māori and Pasifika were both articulate about the need for more “people like us” to talk to about health and wellbeing);
  • people experience racism and discrimination within the Canterbury Health System;
  • communities want health services to consider the wider determinants of health e.g. housing and the availability of healthy affordable kai
  • cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices must be considered and valued. 

The Pae Ora ki Waitaha Working Group summarised conclusions from the work to date:

  • Principles for designing and commissioning healthy lifestyle services need to be founded on Te Tiriti Waitangi, equity of outcomes and:
    • Kaupapa Māori services and other culturally based services need to be an integral part of the Canterbury Health System.
    • Addressing access to health care services is vital.
    • We must confront racism and discrimination.
    • The diversity and skills of the workforce are critical; and
    • The wider determinants of health need to be considered in all future health service access and delivery (‘A warm dry whare, a job, a whānau who loves me - this is what hauora means to me’)
  • These principles are to be applied across all health and wellbeing service design and delivery through utilising the Partnership in Design tool.
  • The findings are aligned with the direction of the Aotearoa New Zealand Health & Disability System reform.

This work will now progress to stage two – developing a plan – with regular updates provided to the Alliance Leadership Team. 

About the Author