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Data to Inform Strategic Approaches to Whaanau Wellbeing

Updated: Nov 7

In 2022, our Maaori Data kaimahi worked on a fantastic project with Waikato-Tainui. This mahi included conducting data analysis that would inform the provision of their wellbeing services and support targeted COVID-19 vaccination efforts. We’re very proud of this work and it’s great that we can now share more about it in our blog post below. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss our approach to applying our Maaori data expertise to strategic initiatives and wellbeing contexts – we’d be happy to koorero!

E hoki ake nei au ki tooku awa koiora me ngoona pikonga. He kura tangihia o te maataamuri

My River of Life, each curve more beautiful than the last

Kiingi Tawhiao Who is Waikato-Tainui? Waikato-Tainui is a tribal organisation that is focussed on achieving social, cultural, environmental and economical outcomes on behalf of its 85,000 plus tribal members. Their tribal rohe covers South Auckland through to South Waikato, from the West Coast harbours of the Waikato Region across to the Waipaa Region. Koiora is their whaanau health and wellbeing strategy at the heart of which is their model of care, centred around their tupuna Awa Waikato. Koiora addresses a range of wellbeing determinants. For two years, Waikato-Tainui had searched for kaimahi strong in their tikanga who would both understand the haerenga Waikato-Tainui were on and be capable of analysing data to inform the Koiora strategy. Eventually, they found the Nicholson Consulting Maaori Data team through Vanessa Clark at the University of Waikato. What was the mahi? Stage one: Informing the strategy One essential component to inform Koiora was data analysis. In early 2022, we worked with Waikato-Tainui and did data analysis designed to:

  • Support the delivery of the Koiora strategy

  • Inform models of wellbeing

  • Inform the provision of wellbeing services

During this phase we also designed a narrative to support the strategic direction of Waikato-Tainui and provided an analysis of wellbeing gaps and opportunities for Maaori within their rohe area. Data from the Stats NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) was used as well as external sources of local data from key organisations that have strong relationships with Waikato-Tainui.

Where possible, data was presented at a rohe level in addition to iwi and regional insights. In part, Waikato-Tainui is using these insights to design services that meet the needs of specific rohe. Currently the information is being added to each bend on the awa to help determine delivery of health and wellbeing services.

Stage two: COVID-19 – vaccination initiatives

A second request came from Waikato-Tainui during the COVID-19 omicron wave. The request was to use Te Whata, the iwi data platform, to gather data and create regular reports that would help with targeting and scheduling vaccination initiatives.

Across this second stage of mahi our kaimahi attended hui with marae and special initiatives working across the Waikato-Tainui rohe to provide support for vaccination efforts in the community. We listened to understand their aspirations and presented data back (from platforms such as Te Whata) to help inform their mahi. Through this process we built ourselves out of the project by passing on knowledge on how to generate these area reports so Waikato-Tainui can continue to serve the needs of the community and their people.

At Nicholson Consulting, we try to consider Whakatupuranga 2050, the future generation, and what their story might be. Being better ancestors of tomorrow is important, and forecast data is key to providing hints of factors that will influence service design in the future. We know that building up the capability of the community is a key component of Māori data sovereignty, as well as an important enabler of mana motuhake (whaanau being empowered to do things for themselves rather than having things decided on their behalf).

Whilst the focus of this project was on using current and readily available data, Nicholson Consulting put forward a wero to Waikato-Tainui not to let current data available narrow their thinking in the future. If, for example, Waikato-Tainui were to create indicators for wellbeing, that would create a great opportunity to define what wellbeing looks like for them, then shift the way data is collected to inform, track, and improve those measures.

In summary:

Being able to produce data to inform the provision of wellbeing services and the vaccination strategy was impactful work that uplifts the oranga of communities in the Waikato-Tainui rohe. We look forward to seeing this mahi continue to shape the pathway from here.

We leave the final words to Waikato-Tainui:

Current and modern times finds the world using information and technology as the first port of call to inform decisions within a short space of time therefore, information and data has become the new gold.

Data to inform strategic approaches to whaanau wellbeing is important. Just as important though is lived experience. Whaanau do experience first-hand the wellbeing needs of their communities and at times these issues are not recognised as high priority by organisational data.

This project has helped our tribal organisation to put evidential substantiation behind whaanau narratives. This approach enables the self determination of wellbeing priorities by whaanau using a wholistic approach to data. By that we mean that wellbeing issues are not been siloed or categories, but integrated. To that end, the project has been a catalyst for the formation of wellbeing initiatives that are for whaanau and will be led out by whaanau – a manifestation of our approach to Mana Motuhake.

The data analytic skills and access to data for Waikato-Tainui was difficult to secure for this project, let alone securing the skill sets needed wholistic approach the project that was required. Nicholson Consulting provided the talent and skill sets within their team to support us and also encouraged us to build this talent within our tribe.

We are very grateful to Ernestynne and the team for the professionalism, commitment to the success of the project and the respectful approach they to took to ensuring the project outcomes met our needs. The project was a great success – kaa nui te mihi ki a koutou ki a koutou ngaa ringa awhina o Nicholson Consulting.

Johnine Davis

Project Advisor ‑ Hapori

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