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Pacific strategy – This is us (Providers)

The Ministry met with a small number of Pacific providers who currently deliver community-based services to Pacific people throughout New Zealand. Our people were astute and ready to talk. The Ministry experiences they shared were sometimes surprising, yet insightful. This is a summary of what we heard.

We asked you about MSD

Things we can improve on

You identified a number of things that you would like us to improve on. You value relationships highly. While you were pleased that we actually went out to talk to you about the work we are doing, you felt that we needed to work with you to build strong, respectful and trusting relationships. You feel that we need to improve our engagement with you and your communities. You said that we really need to promote the importance of effective relationships with Pacific throughout our organisation and work hard to re-establish previous connections with some of you who have made the deliberate choice to partner with other agencies for the good of your Pacific people. Only then will we be able to build our Pacific provider capability and capacity to cater for the high number of clients requiring Ministry support.

Working together

You want to work with us to co-design initiatives for our Pacific families to ensure they improve the lives of our Pacific families. You want to be a part of things that we do and be thought of in one of the first instances (rather than the last) to provide Pacific perspectives and to help us to understand how what we do, looks and feels like for Pacific people. You said that we need to include ‘Pacific-specific’ models of care when looking to contract for services targeted at Pacific people and that we should be using you to ‘test our thinking’ regarding any new initiatives we may have so that whatever we end up doing will result in the greatest benefits for Pacific people. We also need to ensure we appropriately acknowledge your contributions and support you to build your own organisational capacity and capability.

Understanding who we are and what we do

You felt that we needed to invest more time getting to you know and to understand who we are, what we do and what difference we make for the communities that we serve. You want us to have procurement processes that is fair and sustainable, so you could continue deliver high quality services to the families that you work with. You want us to make sure the funding attached to these contracts is enough to adequately address Pacific needs. You want a procurement approach that considers the role of other organisations to support the work that is needed.

We also asked you what we needed to focus on to do better for our Pacific people - You told us:

Focus area 1: Organisational Capability

  • We need to seriously look at our procurement processes. A number of high-quality Pacific providers are not coming to us due to archaic purchasing methods.
  • It is hard for you to build your organisational capability when we only offer short term contracts – we need to identify how we can move Pacific providers on to ‘high trust’ contracts.
  • There needs to be guidelines to help non-Pacific organisations be able to confidently and competently engage with Pacific communities.
  • We need to build our cultural competency across the board.

You want us to up-skill you and enhance your cultural awareness and understanding skills (and those of your non-Pacific colleagues).

Focus area 2: Well-Being

  • You want us to value you and the work that you do.
  • Workloads are really heavy, you need support to manage your time better and we need to look at what we can do to increase overall Pacific capacity.
  • We need to make sure that your health and safety whilst at work is paramount
  • You want us to put support programmes in place that are Pacific orientated for when you are involved in providing ‘high risk’ services or services which are mentally demanding.

You want us to do things that will support your health and well-being both inside and outside of work.

Focus area 3: Partnership

  • We must include you early on when developing new services or programmes for communities.
  • You don’t like the current processes we use to purchase services as they do not allow you to be able to demonstrate your expertise in your way. We prescribe what we want you to do, rather than let you tell and show us what you can do and how that fits with what we want.
  • We are not very good at keeping you up-to-date as to what we are planning and how our plans may impact you.

You want us to focus on establishing genuine relationships with Pacific people and communities.

Focus area 4: Digital Technology

  • There doesn’t seem to be IT or digital technology solutions (or they are not promoted enough) to support the delivery of community services.
  • Digital technology interests you and you want to participate in workshops that we are facilitating so that you can provide Pacific views and perspectives, any technology we develop for Pacific clients should always consider how they will perceive it.

You want us to be using innovative technology to engage and communicate better with our people.

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