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20 May, 2024

Awhi Healthy Homes Initiative Expands Offering to Make a Difference to Whānau in Waikato

AWHI Healthy Homes is set to help even more whānau with the programme now available in
the Waikato region. Following a successful 10-year tenure in Tāmaki Makaurau, the AWHI
team are excited to grow and support whānau right across the motu.

AWHI is a free service provided by National Hauora Coalition, Aotearoa’s largest Māori-led
PHO. AWHI has been designed to improve housing conditions, making a difference to the
hauora (health) of those living in poorly ventilated, cold, damp and overcrowded homes. The
focus is on low-income whānau with 0- to 19-year-old tamariki and pregnant people.

AWHI is part of the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) funded by Te Whatu Ora – Health New
Zealand and began as part of the Ministry of Health’s national strategy to prevent rheumatic

AWHI started as a pilot initiative to reduce household crowding and provide warm, dry, and
healthy homes, and is now a well-established, successful programme for enhancing the
health and wellbeing of whānau.

Speaking to the development of AWHI Waikato, Programme Lead Priscilla Laita says, “We
took into consideration that AWHI Tāmaki already had a service model in place that was
functioning well. With this in mind, we took a similar approach for AWHI Waikato to ensure
we had a model of consistency across both regions.”

AWHI Tāmaki Makaurau and Waikato work with the same suppliers, like Habitat for
Humanity, Kainga Ora, Ministry of Social Development, and Tenancy Services.

AWHI has engaged five local Māori service providers to work with whānau within Waikato:

● Matawhānui Trust – Huntly, Meremere, Te Kauwhata
● Te Korowai ō Hauraki – Hauraki Region
● South Waikato Pacific Island Communities – Tokoroa
● Kōkīrī Trust – Maniapoto
● Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust – Central

Kaiwhakamana and kaiwhakatere (navigators/support workers) visit homes to assess the
house and identify areas that may need to be improved to make a warm, dry and healthy
home. They commit to supporting and working alongside whānau until the process is
complete. The AWHI Healthy Homes Initiative offers support with practical advice to keep
homes warm and dry.

In 2023, 1039 whānau benefited from having a healthier home through the AWHI

The Waikato program officially launched in January this year; the AWHI team has started to
assess homes to support whānau in the region.

Whānau that fit the criteria are eligible for the AWHI Healthy Homes service. Referrals can
come from health professionals or whānau can self-refer – for more information, get in touch
with AWHI directly by calling 0800 100 2944 or emailing

He kāinga ora, he tīmatanga pai
Healthy homes give tamariki the best start in life

– ENDS –

About National Hauora Coalition

National Hauora Coalition is a Māori-led charity and PHO committed to improving health and
social outcomes for all New Zealanders, with a particular focus on Māori, Pacific, new-migrant
and other high-needs populations.

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Press Contact
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