Tauranga City has grown dramatically in the last 20 years: its struggle to provide the appropriate physical infrastructure, roads, drainage and housing is much debated within the community. Less obvious is the social infrastructure needed to support the growing numbers of families trying to cope with living in Tauranga.
Each of the “priority families” described in this report requires a complex set of services to help them to thrive. Resources for services are limited, and the wellbeing of these families depends on a holistic approach to service planning and delivery.
The Family Agencies Coming Together project has provided a beginning for that process; it maps the contribution various agencies are making to the wellbeing of these families, it identifies some of the obstacles agencies face in providing their services, and it provides measurements of the current wellbeing of this community.
The need for better co-ordination of services is a recurring theme for each group of families, and projects are already underway in most areas to improve this aspect of service. This report provides a baseline from which to measure progress on existing initiatives and a catalyst for the development of new initiatives to improve the wellbeing of these families. Some families have needs covering a range of different priority areas, and there are projects underway which could have a wide impact.
The production of this report will be followed by a series of workshops with agencies working in each of the priority areas. These workshops will help to determine what further work, research and action needs to be planned. There is a lot of goodwill from agencies and, together with the appropriate local leadership and central government support, significant improvements can be made to both the planning and delivery of services for these priority groups. Any improvements will have a positive impact on Tauranga’s future and the wellbeing of its families. Making sure these improvements happen is the challenge.