Whānau Ora: Where did it come from? Where will it lead?
In March 2010, the New Zealand Government launched the Whānau Ora policy initiative. Whānau Ora is a cross sector policy that seeks to improve whānau experiences of social, cultural economic wellbeing, through empowerment and selfdetermination. It is thought the policy will have a positive impact on the health of New Zealanders, and address ongoing issues of inequity. This is strongly supported by health determinants research. This independent study describes the development and early implementation of Whānau Ora, utilising a theoretical policy-making framework (Buse, Mays, & Walt, 2005). In order to answer a number of research questions, it examines contexts, processes and actors that contributed to policy making (Walt & Gillson, 1994). A qualitative documentary analysis method was used. Findings are presented in four areas, corresponding to the four identified stages of the policy cycle framework: problem identification and issue recognition, policy formulation, policy implementation, and policy evaluation (Buse et al, 2005). Findings are summarised and recommendations are made based on identified areas of concern to date. To close, limitations of the research study are identified, and future research directions outlined.