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Chief executive Nigel Murray, Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe, Hamilton East MP David Bennett, Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Waikato DHB chairman Bob Simcock. 

A  project led by Waikato District Health Board’s Maori Health Service, Te Puna Oranga (TPO) has received praise by the Minister of Health, Dr Jonathan Coleman.

Whare Ora is a healthy home initiative in the Waikato that provides not only insulation, but heating, blankets, beds, fire alarms and more to low income families.

Executive director of Maori Health Ditre Tamatea in a presentation to the Minister said the initiative to date had assessed 95 homes and installed products in 85 of those meaning more than 738 individuals had benefited from the programme in just over six months.

“It is projects like this that become concrete examples of the policy at work,” said Coleman.

“We want to identify real outcomes for vulnerable New Zealand children, and it is initiatives like this that bring together a multidisciplinary team to make that happen,” he said.

Part of the project also advocates for low-income families in rental properties by approaching landlords to maintain the safety standards of the home.

“I think it is really good that you are doing that advocacy with the landlords… without that those living conditions for those kids won’t improve.”

Whare Ora is funded by Bryant Trust and WEL Energy Trust and the Ministry of Health.

Tamatea said the Ministry’s initial launch with Warm Up New Zealand and Waikato District Health Board’s Warm Our Whare meant the team at TPO saw a need for a more comprehensive healthy home initiative.

“Waikato DHB’s Maori Health Service has a history of working with a range of partnerships to create warmer, drier, healthier homes and it is our work in that space with others that has led to the development of this service,” he said.

“It can sometimes be hard to work across several agencies but everyone is so on-board with this and the results show that.”

Launched in early 2015 Whare Ora is supported by Waikato DHB, Hamilton City Council, WEL Energy Trust, Habitat for Humanity, Ministry of Social Development, Housing New Zealand, New Zealand Fire Service and The Warehouse at The Base.

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