Minister Henare engages with Pacific Whānau Ora community


Minister Henare meets with Pasifika Futures Senior Staff

Minister Henare meets with Pasifika Futures Senior Staff; John Natua, Amanaki Misa, Gina Harvey, Sieni Voorwinder, Debbie Sorensen (CEO) Taulapapa Wilmason Jensen (Deputy CEO) Seini Jensen

On Monday 16th April 2018, the honourable Peeni Henare, Minister for Whānau Ora was invited to spend the day with Pasifika Futures understanding and witnessing directly some the work carried out by the Pacific Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency.

During his visit, Minister Henare met with Pasifika Futures Board members and senior staff, while also travelling to two Whānau Ora Providers to experience what Pacific Whānau Ora is first hand.


Minister Henare visits CIDANZ and speaks to Papa Tom and CEO, Mrs Rouruina Emil’e-Brown

At the Cook Island Development Agency NZ (CIDANZ) and Pacific Homecare, the Minister heard stories shared by families and staff around the Whānau Ora programme and how it has uplifted and enabled families to achieve their collective aspirations.

Mrs Rouruina Emil’e-Brown, Cook Island Development Agency NZ CEO, commented “He was curious and inquisitive, complementary, sincere and genuine in his conversation on his tour. This was greatly welcomed an appreciated by all the families who attended the morning.”

“His I want to “see, touch, feel, hear, taste” mantra for the day was just what we were prepared to demonstrate with families who spoke with passion and gratitude for the family led Whānau Ora way.”


Minister Henare pictured with Mama Pi (Pacific Homecare Founder) Hamish Crooks (Pacific Homecare CEO) Fiu Anae Wesley Talaimanu (Fonua Ola CEO) and Brenda Simmons (Fonual Ola Whānau Ora Leader)

Pacific Homecare CEO, Mr Hamish Crooks says that during his visit Minister Henare was very supportive of the Whanau Ora services and the way they engage and support families.

“We wanted the Minister to go away with a good understanding of different Pasifika communities involved in our Whanau Ora services and the realities that these families have in front of them.”

“It was important to convey also the many different Whānau Ora services that our families were accessing in our communities and the different needs and challenges they all face and where they go to get support.”

In the evening Pasifika Futures hosted a dinner event in the Ministers honour with 150 guests comprising of esteemed Pacific leaders, Pasifika Futures Whānau Ora network of providers and their staff, Pasifika Futures board members, staff and families.

IMG_0703Distinguished guests Hon. Jenny Salesa, Minister for Ethnic Communities and Hon. Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific People were also in attendance.

Dr Kiki Maoate, Pasifika Futures Board Chair formally welcomed guests and extended his appreciation and thanks to Minister Henare for an encouraging day.

“Today is about showing you where we stand, showing you the direction that we believe we are heading to, and I think that at the end of the day it’s showing you that you can trust us. That’s in terms of what we do, how we deliver our projects and how we invest into our communities.”


Hon Minister Peeni Henare

“I got to smell, touch, feel and breathe Whānau Ora today. Not only with administration, although that was important, but from the families themselves.” Said Minister Henare during his address.

“Today we shared tears, laughter, serious conversations and far too much food. It was excellent to be a part of the everyday Whānau Ora. It was important that I had the opportunity to see Whānau Ora in action in the eyes of the Pacific Island people.”

It was a pleasure to host the Hon Minister Peeni Henare and Pasifika Futures would like to extend our humble appreciation to those involved with our work, and look forward to strengthening the legacy of Whānau Ora.


Check out the full photo gallery from the day online here at Pasifika Futures Facebook Page.