Family Start contract negotiations next step for marae

It's a "fresh start" for Papakura Marae as it prepares to negotiate its new Family Start contract.

The marae has won back the contract it lost five months ago after the Ministry of Social Development axed its agreement because its home-based visiting service needed improving.

Marae chief executive Tony Kake says the group has worked hard and has "certainly learnt a lot" in the past five months in discussion with the ministry.

"It required a lot of self reflection, looking in the mirror and asking some hard truths around how whanau would be better off as a result of the service."

But he's not counting his chickens.

"The ministry has only given us a verbal approval - now we want to sit down with them and negotiate the terms of the contract."

As part of the Kotahitanga Collective, the marae will join Mangere's Turuki Healthcare, Work and Development Trust and Te Kaha o te Rangatahi Trust in delivering the contract.

"It means we can offer a wider range of services and support with this collective. Before we were limited to Papakura-based services. But now there's things like youth specialists under Te Kaha, midwifery services from Turuki - which means we're working more collaboratively as a provider."

He isn't sure when the programme will roll out but says it will depend on negotiations.

"We're going to have to employ a lot more staff. We all want the same thing in the end and that's for our kids to have the best start in life."

Papakura Courier