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Source: Whanau Ora

Whānau Ora has launched a statement on its bold vision for greater Māori aspiration and inspiration.

Visible across billboards, bus stops, and televisions across Aotearoa, Our Future is Māori speaks to the simple assertion that Māori must – and will – take charge of their own future.

Using impactful imagery of whānau from around Aotearoa, the campaign is a reminder of Tino-rangatiratanga and stresses the effectiveness of a for Māori by Māori approach to supporting Whānau wellbeing across the country.

Recent national events like cyclones, flooding, and COVID have underlined Whānau Ora’s ability to quickly respond to community needs and effectively deliver services designed by local whānau delivering local solutions

While Budget 2023 saw an uplift in the Whānau Ora funding, we recognise that it continues to be underfunded in favour of other top down agencies delivering to Māori.

Chief Operating Officer of the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Te Ika a Māui (North Island), Awerangi Tamihere says a future focussed message is imperative as we move past a difficult last three years.

“Māori continue to bear the brunt of inequity, inequities highlighted even more so over the last three challenging years. We know all too well that the historical and ongoing structural inequities sees Māori overrepresented in several negative statistics in Aotearoa. Whānau Ora providers are committed to reversing these numbers by supporting positive outcomes for Māori,” she says.

The Our Future is Māori campaign comes a week after the Reducing Child Poverty Outcomes Report was released, which highlighted that belief coupled with aspiration are key determinants for whānau achieving enduring outcomes. The campaign will act as a lever for whānau transformation, as Māori move from crisis, to stability, to resilience moving forward.

Whānau Ora Chair, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, says Our Future is Māori represents the urgent need for Māori to take control of their own destiny and create mobility in stubborn statistics.

“Māori are the solution, they are not the problem and we are tired of the negative connotations associated with who we are, what we do and how we do it. The messages, the images and the mana in this campaign are all an overdue mirror we need to hold up high for ourselves, for each other and for our mokopuna to change the narrative and stand tall. Solutions of change will come from our communities and right now we are happy to lead that charge because this is our country, this is our future and we deserve it”.

Often relegated to providing crisis services in situations like COVID vaccinations or post-cyclone, Whānau Ora has shown it is also the best delivery arm for other, more future-focused projects.

Captured over the course of two years, the campaign was developed in partnership with creative agency Motion Sickness, with key activity running over the next six weeks across digital, TV, and out-of-home media.

Set to the backdrop of ‘Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi’ (a unique arrangement performed by Kahurangi at Takitimu Marae), the suite of hero films, portraits, and bold statements of belief give an honest portrait the realities of Māori whānau and thriving communities interwoven with Whānau Ora throughout Aotearoa.

There is strength in knowledge, and there is strength in whakapapa. Whānau Ora are carving the way forth, in an ode to those who have come before. A path for Māori, by Māori.

About Our Future is Māori mission statement:

Aspirations for people, not systems. Empowering our people to thrive in Aotearoa. Carving a path for Māori, by Māori.

Navigating solutions from within communities. Six regions. One hundred partners. One Whānau. Our future is Māori.

About Whānau Ora:

Whānau Ora is a culturally-based, and whānau-centred approach to wellbeing focused on whānau (family group) as a whole, as the decision-makers who determine their goals and aspirations.

Building on the strengths and capabilities of whānau and wrapping the necessary services and support around them to get better outcomes and create positive changes. In areas such as health, education, housing, employment, improved standards of living and cultural identity.v Whānau are supported to fully realise the confidence, mana and the belief in self, family and community.

Delivering Whānau Ora through Non-Government Organisation’s means decision-making happens free from an overly risk-averse and micro-managed environment.

Community-based Whānau Ora partners sit in the communities they support. They can use local knowledge and adapt to issues happening in their community. It helps grow adaptive ideas, innovative thinking and solutions when it comes to providing local support.

Whānau Ora have specialist staff who act as navigators and advocate for whānau. They work with whānau to find the services and support needed.


Whānau Ora team: Awerangi Tamihere, Kātene Durie-Doherty, Maria Te Whiu, Jason Paahi Executive Creative Director: Sam Stuchbury
Creative Director: Jordan Stent
Head of Strategy: Hilary Ngan Keez

Kaitaunaki Māori (Head of Māori Culture): Kātene Durie-Doherty Senior Creative: William Macdonald
Senior Designer: Hamish Steptoe
Account Director: Anna Maxwell

Head of Media: Dom Meehan
Editor: Jolin Lee, Pete Hansen
Creative: Freddy Riddiford
Producer: Joseph McAlpine
Photography: Jordan Stent
DOP: Žiga Zupancic, Vanessa Vandy Composer & Sound Design: Jordan Iusitini Colourist: Matic Prusnik

Sound Recording: BigPop Studio Voiceover: Lily Rupapera
Choir: Kahurangi
Marae: Takitimu Marae