In early December I was privileged to experience a beautiful culmination of many years of work. My colleagues Jon, Clemmie and I were in Auckland finishing a project with Te Whanau O Waipareira, our inspiring client in Aotearoa (New Zealand). It was one of those days which is difficult to translate into words: a day immersed in Maori culture, and the culture of an organisation defining what it means to be Maori in 2015 in urban Auckland. It was a day that filled me with immense pride for what Waipareira is doing, and for how we have helped them to build an organisation and team that can support and strengthen that journey. Put simply, I was filled with pure joy; it was a highlight of my time at SVA.
We have been working with Waipareira intensively since October 2014, supporting them on their journey to manage to outcomes. We have also been working with the North Island’s Whānau Ora (family health) Commissioning agency, Te Pou Matakana (TPM). The CEO of both organisations is the charismatic Maori leader, John Tamihere. John is a former MP and an influential leader of First Nation Peoples globally. He tells things straight, and we were delighted to receive some pretty amazing feedback from him. He said we were different (in a good way); that we were genuinely there to help. The footprint we have left is now their footprint. Waipareira own what we have done with them.
The footprint we have left is now their footprint. Waipareira own what we have done with them.
This footprint was evident at the full staff breakfast where the 250-strong Maori organisation met at 7am to celebrate life and engage in Waipareira’s outcomes journey. The staff and leadership team presented the outcomes action plan to the organisation with a real sense of ownership. They proudly said that the outcomes and indicators were whanau (family) informed: and their whanau includes their clients, their staff, and us. This was one of the those rare times where three consultants sat as participants. A closing remark from one of Waipareira’s leaders was; ‘you might wonder why SVA are here but why they haven’t spoken – it is because this is our outcomes plan’.
This is something which has taken shape over many years. Terms like “Golden Thread” and “SROI snapshots” were explained by Waipareira staff simply and elegantly, as if it was their whakapapa (cultural genealogy). It made me very happy.
— Awerangi (@awerangi) December 16, 2015
For more on our work with Waipareira see Jon Myer’s SVA Quarterly article How culture grows effective outcomes.