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Reading: An organisational approach to embedding people-centred practice - Whānau Ora our new norm


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An organisational approach to embedding people-centred practice - Whānau Ora our new norm


Kristin Fanselow ,

Te Whanau o Waipareira, NZ
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Sue Hughes

Te Whanau o Waipareira, NZ
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Introduction: We recognise that an interdisciplinary approach to improving health and social outcomes must be embedded in our values and how we do things as an organisation. Te Whanau o Waipareira have taken a long-term approach to organisational transformation that puts whanau (family/community – our people) at the centre, resulting in an outcomes framework approach that incorporates health outcomes into a holistic, indigenous and people-centred view of wellbeing.

Key to this has been managing the cultural shift required by ensuring our frontline staff are the drivers, owning the change and embodying it in their work alongside whānau . To create generational change with our whanau, our organisation as a whole must embody their values and aspirations in how we work and organise ourselves - how you do one thing is how you do everything.

Practice change implemented: As a multisector organisation, Waipareira, as part of their 25 year strategic plan,has been shifting shift from traditional, silo approaches to contracted service delivery, to a Community Anchor organisation that understands health outcomes as an integrated aspect of a whole. This shift has included visible changes to our practice – with a move to house all services within the same building (a one-stop shop for whānau) and clusters of frontline teams based on who they serve rather than the sectors they are contracted by.

While we continue to report to funder requirements, we also evidence our impact via our own organisational outcomes framework, designed with whānau and our own in-house community research team.

Acknowledging that our frontline staff are central to embedding a whānau-centric approach our internal approaches to organisational change and transformation have always reflected where they are at, and have been implemented by working alongside them through all stages. This has included:

Introducing strategic vision and outcomes at staff induction

Service Impact snapshots workshops to understand outcomes from staff perspectives

Outcomes management change programmes that align language and ways of working with frontline staff

Incubator projects that test new approaches before they are rolled out

Remaining adaptive in recognition of the tension between maintaining Business as Usual and the challenge of managing change.

Models of integrated people-centred services:

Whānau Ora  – an indigenous New Zealand model that supports whānau and families to achieve their aspirations in life. It places whānau at the centre of decision making, supporting them to build a more prosperous future.

Through our Social Innovation Hub we have also taken international frameworks and models, testing and adapting them with a Whānau Ora lens before rolling out throughout our organisation and partners. These include Collective Impact and Adaptive Leadership, Social Value and SROI frameworks – each of which are chosen first and foremost for their ability to put people (and therefore our whānau) at the centre of their model of practice.

How to Cite: Fanselow K, Hughes S. An organisational approach to embedding people-centred practice - Whānau Ora our new norm. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):445. DOI:
Published on 08 Aug 2019.


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