Improving outcomes for whānau

Mana Tākata is one of the four pou of Aukaha, a diverse social services arm that seeks to improve outcomes for whānau in the Otago region.

Aukaha May22 169

Mana Tākata is one of the four pou of Aukaha, a diverse social services arm that seeks to improve outcomes for whānau in the Otago region. It is made up of four primary workstreams: health and social services, employment, housing, and economic development.

General Manager Chris Rosenbrock (Ngāti Maniapoto) has been working at Aukaha (formerly KTKO) since 1999, when he took a holiday job answering phones after finishing university. Twenty-three years later, Chris is still passionate about the wide-ranging opportunities and challenges that come with such an extensive and diverse workstream, and is proud of the way his team “goes the extra mile.”

“They care about whānau – that’s why they do this work – and they do whatever it takes to bring about positive outcomes,” he says.

Helping whānau to overcome challenges and lead a better life is the motivation that sits at the heart of all Mana Tākata activities. Within the health and social services team, Ōamaru-based Tumai Ora has had a huge impact on the wellbeing of Moeraki and Puketeraki communities since it was established 15 years ago. Whānau Ora Navigators work directly with whānau to help them navigate the complexities of the system to access the support they need. Aukaha also supports the delivery of Te Kakano Health Clinics across the wider Otago region, providing free primary health care to whānau including prescriptions, podiatry and referrals into diagnostic and specialist services.

The employment team began in 2018 with a contract from the Ministry of Social Development to support Māori and Pasifika whānau into employment. Mana Tākata has partnerships with a number of key businesses in the Otago region including Naylor Love, Downer and Fulton Hogan, and they work with them to match whānau with sought-after industry apprenticeships. The team provide pastoral care to the apprentices they work with, making sure they’re work ready and have the best chance of succeeding.

The economic development team places an emphasis on social procurement, supporting Māori and Pasifika businesses to secure contracts within the Otago region. Mana Tākata has developed a growing database of 90 businesses, and works with them to find opportunities, helping them to grow their business and support future employment opportunities for whānau.

The fast-growing housing team is all about making sure that whānau are living in warm and healthy homes. Wtih the support of the Eeca Otago Retrofit Pilot funding, and Te Puni Kōkiri Critical Essential Repairs Programme, Mana Tākata is putting funding into repairing and upgrading whānau homes across the region.

The four Mana Tākata workstreams seek to improve whānau wellbeing across the board: making sure their whare are warm and dry, supporting them into employment and helping them grow their businesses, and providing access to the health and social services whānau need.

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