``Whānau Ora should focus on building whānau capacity and capability.``
Former Minister of Whānau Ora, Hon Tariana Turia


Kaiārahi (or Navigators) are support workers across Whānau Ora partners throughout Te Ika a Māui.

Kaiārahi walk alongside whānau to develop plans, set goals, support them to achieve their intended outcomes and document their success along the way. An important part of their role is to navigate whānau access to health and social services.

Kaiārahi build strong relationships of trust and confidence with whānau and have an ongoing relationship.

Kaiārahi support Rangatahi Success

A single Mum living in Lower Hutt with three rangatahi. One rangatahi recently secured part-time employment and two attend college. Mum recently approached her local Whānau Ora provider to inquire about resources for her rangatahi at college.

Through a comprehensive assessment with a Kaiārahi it was identified that Mum was in financial crisis. She had growing debt and bills including the power, phone and water. She had become anxious and depressed about her situation and could not see a way out.

With support from her Kaiārahi, Mum was referred to the local budgeting service and attended an appointment with Work and Income to ensure she was receiving full entitlements. Mum completed a Whānau Direct application for support her rangatahi with school and sport resources and a learner licence.

Both rangatahi are actively involved in their school curriculum and sporting activities. The oldest daughter passed her learner license and is actively seeking full-time employment. This activity has built Mum’s confidence and she recently secured a full-time job.

Mum in the Driver’s Seat

Single mum aged 27 with two tamariki aged 2 and 5 years old. Mum also provides full time care for her 16 year old sister. Mum is fluent in te reo Māori and actively participates in weekly activities with her tamariki. She is unemployed and has casual work for one day a week.

Mum made a self-referral to a Kaiārahi who worked with her to develop a Whānau Ora plan. She wanted to use te reo to support the kura and kohanga her children attend. Mum wanted to improve her health and wellbeing and lose weight. Longer term she wants to complete a degree in primary school teaching.

Mum took immediate action in relation to achieving her goals outlined in the plan. Her Kaiārahi helped her to develop a simple yet practical nutrition plan. Mum started walking, jogging and doing activities around the home during the day while her tamariki were at school. She attended the University of Waikato open day and immediately enrolled for their wanānga block course held in the weekend. Extended whānau looked after her children and sister while she attended the course.

Recently Mum started teaching te reo and waiata at her children’s kura and kohanga once a week. She started an indoor netball team that led to two further teams being established and she now manages all three teams. She has enrolled in a Bachelor of Teaching through the University of Waikato. Whānau have increased their knowledge. Mum is healthy and well.