Māori Family Assistance Programme

Development of an Evaluation Framework

Kirimatao Paipa & Fiona Cram, for Katoa Ltd

Funder: Te Puni Kōkiri

Timeframe: 2010

Toward the end of 2009 Te Puni Kōkiri launched three Whānau Social Assistance Programme initiatives: Maara Kai (gardens), Kaitoko Whānau (Māori family navigators), and Oranga Whānau (elders supporting Māori families).

The aim of the initiatives, implemented in Māori communities, is to promote whānau ora (Māori family wellness) among vulnerable whānau (Māori families). The initiatives reflect the Māori Party policy priorities outlined in 2008, especially 'We want to see more community services and less government bureaucracy for the outcome of whānau restoration’.[1]

The Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples, is quoted as saying that, in addition to maintaining and building the strength of the Māori economy, the focus of the Māori Affairs budget in 2009 was 'Support for families who are most vulnerable… Our priority is to empower whānau [families] to support each other'.[2] 

Vulnerable Māori whānau are, in turn, described as families that did not experience social, economic and cultural gains over the past ten years. The Whānau Social Assistance Programme initiatives have been described as holistic, customised for whānau, and designed to assist communities to re-engage vulnerable Māori families and individuals. The potential negative impact of the current economic recession on these already vulnerable families and individuals is also stressed in the background to the initiatives.

Katoa Ltd was contracted in December 2009 to develop a rich description of the programmes and an evaluation framework, including intervention logics for the programmes. This project was undertaken by Kirimatao Paipa and Fiona Cram. The evaluators talked to a total of 18 host organisations in March 2010 that, between them, were hosting (at least) 15 Kaitoko Whānau, six Oranga Whānau, and ten Maara Kai. The methodology for this project can be downloaded below.

The evaluation frameworks developed during this project then informed the evaluation of the Kaitoko Whānau evaluation conducted in 2011. Red more about this evaluation here.

[1] Māori Party (2008). Policy priorities – He aha te mea nui?, p.7

[2] Sharples, Hon Dr P., Minister of Māori Affairs (2009). Budget delivers whānau and economic support. Ministerial speech, 28 May 2009.

Picture  on right: Picture of whiteboard from Wellington Kaitoko Whānau hui  brainstorming of 'hard-to-reach' whānau