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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Whānau as First Navigators?

Whānau as First Navigators is an iwi-led early support and prevention programme that focuses on strengthening whānau.

It aims to support whānau wellbeing, through and with social service providers, so that tamariki and whānau can lead their own aspirations.

What does Whānau as First Navigators do?

Whānau as First Navigators is an iwi-led response to early support and prevention and will interact with whānau in the following ways:

  • Communicate through public education and wellbeing campaigns across radio, social media, and website platforms.
  • Enable environments where whānau will naturally go for trusted support before they reach any crisis point.
  • Support selected Ngāi Tahu and Kaupapa Māori health and social service providers with capacity building and development so that they can do more work with whānau.
  • Enable organisations across the broader care and protection system who are responsible for monitoring, to ensure appropriate systems and processes are in place to support cultural competence.

Is Whānau as First Navigators for Ngāi Tahu whānau only?

No, the Whānau as First Navigators programme will reach a diverse range of people across New Zealand.

What social service providers are you working with?

We’re partnering with selected Ngāi Tahu and Kaupapa Māori health and social service providers. Watch this space as we hope to release more information soon.

Is Whānau as First Navigators a social services “provider”?

No, Whānau as First Navigators is not a social services provider. There are social service providers that already do great mahi with whānau across the country. Whānau as First Navigators supports selected Ngāi Tahu and Kaupapa Māori providers in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā.

Why is Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu delivering this programme?

We recognise the importance of Ngāi Tahu and Kaupapa Māori social service providers in the communities whānau live in and want to support the impact they make.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is committed to its vision of ensuring whānau wellbeing, ‘Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā, muri ake nei – For us and our children after us.’

Why is Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu only working with accredited Ngāi Tahu providers?

Whānau as First Navigators is a new programme and the first of its kind in New Zealand. For now, we are focused on working with selected Ngāi Tahu and Kaupapa Māori providers who have social services accreditation from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). We hope to expand in the future, so please follow our progress on our social media.

What is ‘accreditation’?

Having 'accreditation’ means that providers are approved to deliver social services to whānau.

Whānau as First Navigators works with providers that are at Level Three and above. This means they can deliver services under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989; they have met a stronger set of quality standards; and they are monitored by an independent government unit called Te Kahui Kahu, under the Ministry of Social Development (MSD): Welcome to Te Kāhui Kāhu.

What’s the difference between Whānau as First Navigators and Whānau Ora?

While both programmes work to help improve whānau wellbeing, there are some key differences between Whānau as First Navigators and Whānau Ora.

Whānau as First Navigators is designed, developed, and led by iwi. It is focused on prevention, community, and workforce development, and strengthening whānau before situations are at crisis.

Whānau Ora is led, driven, and funded by government commissioning agencies. It is a nationwide programme that focuses on crisis intervention through to more aspirational whānau goals.

How do I engage with these social service providers?

It depends on where you live and your personal situation. If needed, the Whānau as First Navigators team can support whānau to access these services.

Can whānau get funding from Whānau as First Navigators?

No, the programme does not provide funding.

I’m a health or social services provider. How do I join this kaupapa?

We appreciate your desire to support whānau through this programme. We hope that some of our content is helpful for you, and we will update our webpage regularly. At this stage, we are focused on working with selected Ngāi Tahu and Kaupapa Māori providers. We hope to expand in the future so please follow our progress.

I’m a Social Worker. Can Whānau as First Navigators help with my work with tamariki?

We appreciate your desire to support whānau through this programme. Whānau as First Navigators is not a social services provider, it is a prevention programme of work.

Where did the name 'Whānau as First Navigators' come from?

The name ‘Whānau as First Navigators’ is inspired by the story of Rākaihautū who steered the waka Uruao from Te Patu nui o Aio to Aotearoa.

It represents the strength, skill and determination passed down to whānau through their whakapapa, to successfully navigate their wellbeing journeys.