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Whanau Ora

Whanau Ora

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Published by Kim Murphy-Stewart
This is an issues paper I wrote relating to whanau ora.
This is an issues paper I wrote relating to whanau ora.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Kim Murphy-Stewart on Dec 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/23/2012

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WhanauOra:-IssuesPaper
GreetingstotheWhanauorateamThisissuespaperispreparedspeculatively.Itseekstoputforwardtheissuesandconcernswhicharedrawnfrom:MyreadingoftheWhanauorareportStrategicmaterialpreparedbyTeWhanau
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WaipareiraTrustMyownextensivesocialworkacademicandteachingpractice.Unashamedlythispresentationisfromarelationalsocialworkperspective.Ittakesitsviewfromthesharpestmostpainfulendofwhanauora.Itsuggeststhattotrulyachievewhanauoraoutcomeswillbetoconcertedlyconfrontchallengesatthisthesharpestend.Pleasedon'tgetmewrongthispositionisnotattemptingtounderminethepublichealth,earlyinterventionoranyprojectstomaintainorpositivelyinfluencepre-existinglevelsofwhanaucapacity.Inmakingthisstandwecannotbecoyabouttherealityofthe'circlesofdesolation'whichconfrontwhanaunortheuncomfortableextentthatthisdesolationhaspenetratedwhanaulivedrealities.Inthispresentationissuesandconcernswillbeidentifiedandconnectedwithkeyrelatedquestions.IssuesandConcerns
1)ProblemsWiththeEvidenceProject
Asastudentteacherweweretaughtthatinordertoprovethat2+3=5wehadalsotoprovethat5=2+3.Uncomfortablytheprevailingcolonisinglogicisofa2+3=5mentalitylocatedintheevidencebasedpracticeproject.Seeminglyeverypolicyprojecthastobeframedinthislogic-includingthewhanauorareport.TheproblemthatIhavewiththisisthatoutcomesaretobecreatedoutpredefinedevidence.Thusanevidenceof2andanevidenceof3itishopedwillcreatetheoutcomeof5.Itisasifthe"wickedproblems"confrontingwhanauoraaretobe"tamed"byreducingthemtopredeterminedmeasurablefactors.ContrarilyWhanauoraisgroundedandcanonlybegroundedinthelogicof5=2+3.Alogicthatalwaysseestheoutcomefirstandalwayskeepstheoutcomeinview.Thefocusisontheoutcome-theoutcomeandoncemorethefocusisontheoutcome.AsWardChurchillstates"Wehavenomoralprerogativetoforecloseonanytacticaloption."Thusanyappropriatemeansrequiredtoachievetheoutcomebecomesapplicable.Ifthatmeansdo'it'toachievetheoutcomethen'it'shall
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bedoneandthepractitionerhastheabsolutediscretiontodo'it'.Mindyouaslongas'it'islegalandethicallydefensible.Theintentionisnottoidentifyaproblemandmanageitbysimplyapplyingarationalintervention.Wecannolongerbeconstrainedbyanyonepracticemodeormodel-everypracticecountswheretheintentionistoresolvedifficultiesandmakeitdifferent.ItisacceptedthattheEBPprojectisalmostaculturalnorm.EvenPaulaBennettwhentalkingaboutfurtherfundingforteenparenteducationservicesspeaksoftheevidencebaseasafoundationforthisspecificproject.Myconcerniswiththeculturaldominanceofthisproject.UndoubtedlyWhanauoraprojectsandpracticewillhavetosomehowfitthemselvesintowhataretheprevailingnotionsofevidencedpracticeinordertobeaccepted.ThisisdemonstratedbywhanauoraprojectsthatIamawareofwhichareattemptingtocomplywiththeconstraintsof'socialworkregistration'orothersystemssuchasISO9000.Pleasedon'tgetmewrong-qualityassurancesarerequiredparticularlywhentaxpayers'moneyisatstakeBUTthedominanceofevidencebasedpracticeexposesprojectstothedangerofbecomingimitationsofthosesystemstheyareseekingtoreplace.Howwillthisdangerbecombatedormitigated?FurtheritcanbecontendedthattheEBPprojecthasfailedandisdoomedtofailure.Certainlytheevidenceofthelast20yearsofinterventionhasdemonstratedlittleimpactuponwhanaudisparity.Indeedtheevidenceofmyownexperienceindicatesthesituationwefacetodayisasifnotmorecriticalthanthatwhichwefaced30yearsagowhichcausedtheintroductionofTuTangataanditssiblings.Thesepolicieswerenotintroducedwithinsuchan"anevidencebasedframework"-theystoodontheevidenceofthestandingofthosewhoproposedthemandbecausethingshadtobedifferent.AtapolicylevelIthinkthereissomepoliticalacknowledgementofthisreality.ThishasbeenparticularlywiththeintroductionofMBOandneedtoconfrontwhanauoraatthesharpestendofourpracticerelationships.HereIamconsciousoftheworkbytheVictoriaUniversity-SchoolofGovernment-EmergingIssuesProject.Funnybuttheissuestheyappeartobedealingwitharehardlyemerging.Whattheydoproposeistheconsiderationofanalternativeframeworkinwhichtoconsiderhowoutcomesareproducedandmeasured.IunderstandthattheirthinkinghaspenetratedaspectsoftheworkwithintheOfficeofCommunityandVoluntarySector.Thishasbeeninsomeofthepolicythoughtandinsomemeetingsthattheyhaveconducted.UnfortunatelythisbranchofpolicythinkingdoesnotseemtohavepenetratedmuchpasttheportalsofWellingtonortheacademicpolicyenvironment.OramIwrong!
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Thisworkhasgivenconsiderationtothediscussionof"relationalandtransformationalpractice","wickedproblems"and"communitiesofpractice".Thereisabodyoffirstnations'scholarshipwhichhasbeengivingconsiderationtothesethemes.InmyestimationthediscussionofhowtobuildtheCrown-whanauorapracticerelationshipintheseperspectiveshavemorepotentialorpromiseinachievingtheoutcomeweprobablyalldesire.Thesetwoquotesseemhelpful
"Ifpeoplematter,itisnotthetaskofprofessionals,muchlessofsystemsmethodologists,toplaytheroleofexpertsthat"facilitate"discursiveprocessesforthemorevendefinewhatconstitutesan"improvement"tothem;theirtaskis,rather,
toputthepeopleconcernedinasituationofcompetenceinwhichtheycanspeakforthemselvesandengagethemselvesinparticipatorypractice."
"groupsofpeoplewhoshareaconcern,asetofproblems,orapassionaboutatopic,andwhodeepentheirknowledgeandexpertiseinthisareabyinteractingonanongoingbasis.
Theyoperateassociallearningsystemswherepractitionersconnecttosolveproblems,shareideas,setstandards,buildtools,anddeveloprelationshipswithpeersandstakeholders."
ThesetwonotionsseemtoholdsomepromiseparticularlywhencomingtoconstructgroundleveloperationalsocialservicesresponseMOREsothanwhatmaybethecurrentcanonsofsocialworkpractice.Howfarhavehastheconsiderationotherperspectivesbeentaken?Hasanyconsiderationbeengiventohowtheseperspectivesmaybeoperationalised?RealisticallyitwillbeunproductivetosimplylayerMaoriknowledgeovertheprevailinglogicofpolicy,managementandoperations.ThisisevidentinhownotionsofkinshipcareandtheFGCprocesshavebeencolonised.AlthoughMaoriprovisionmaynowhaveachievedaneconomyofscalethatmitigatesthispossibilitythedangerremainsunlesstheunderlyingparadigmofpolicyandpracticeischallenged.Thisbegsthequestion:-
2)JustHow"Real"istheOutcomeofWhanauSelfManagement?
ItwassomethingthatMinisterTuriapassionatelyexclaimedattheconclusionofherpresentationinWhangarei-regardingthe"industrialisationofwhanaumisery"whichcouldquestiontherealityofthisoutcome.
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I have to say I'm totally sceptical of anything purporting to be 'Maori' using a few buzzwords and dimly understood concepts, when its the same old same old brownwash of NZ's mainstream culture. Ki Ao Ra Kim for your thoughtful analysis.

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