Whānau Tahi Make New Zealand IT History

Whānau Tahi is a finalist in the 2016 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards, short-listed in a field of global multi-national Microsoft partners in the Health category. This is believed to be the first time a New Zealand organisation has gained nomination as a finalist in this category. Microsoft said this was recognition of “excellence in innovation” and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

“Whānau Tahi is a prime example of the excellent talent we see in our Microsoft partner community to deliver innovative and transformative solutions to our mutual customers,”Gavriella Schuster, general manager, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft Corp, said.

Finalists have been invited to a July awards ceremonyin Toronto, Canada, aspart of Microsoft’s Global World Conference, where up to 30,000 partners attend.

This recognition comes on the back of Whānau Tahi named a finalist at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards.

The Microsoft winners were selected from over 2,500 entrants representing 119 countries. Whānau Tahi, recognised for providing outstanding solutions and services for the Public Sector: Health Partner of the Year Award,was runner up.

Stephen Keung, CEO of Whānau Tahi, said the international acknowledgement supported the vision and aspirations of Waipareira, who have fostered and supported self-determination and advocacyfor the west Auckland community for more than 30 years.

“Six years ago Waipareira recognised that the delivering of health and social services to whānau were not working, well so we developed technology to help improve outcomes,” said Stephen. “Our tools give whānau the ability to take charge of their health and evidence shows that once you give ownership of wellbeing to those at need, they take more interest and outcomes improve.”

Whānau Tahi’s success has been endorsed by indigenous organisations and prestigious research institutions world-wide.

Rebecca Corpuz, Deputy Director of Seattle Indian Health Board said: “Whānau Tahi has done important work for Indigenous communities and we are thrilled to hear your work has received global recognition.”

The Seattle Indian Health Board – established in 1970 - is a private, non-profit organization based in Washington who provide community health care and services for urban American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

Kim Anderson, CEO of Atlanta-based Family First said the Memorandum of Understanding with Whānau Tahi is proving a benefit for both organisations.

“In Atlanta, we understand the importance of Whānau Tahi’s work among underserved and vulnerable communities and look forward to our continuing association,” Kim said.

Family First is Georgia’s oldest leading non-profit family service agency and impacts on around 40,000 children and families each year, serving urban Atlanta for 125 years.

The Los Angeles-based American Indian Involvement Inc., have recently signed a MoU with Whānau Tahi.

“We would like to congratulate Whānau Tahi being recognized by Microsoft as the finalist runner up for the Health Partner of the Year Award,” said CE Jerimy Billy.

But it’s not just non-profit organisations supporting Whānau Tahi.

Dr Bowen Chung, Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the world renowned David Geffen School of Medicine inLos Angeles, also acknowledged the development of the Whānau Tahi IT solution.

“Your work developing innovative platforms to integrate healthcare and social services to improve health outcomes are much needed throughout the world to help countries make progress on improving health outcomes,” Dr Chung said.

Bob Foster, Director, Global Access Program at UCLA and a team of MBA graduates worked with Whānau Tahi to devise a business platform to deliver an IT solution to indigenous Americans.

“Congratulations to Stephen and Whanau Tahi for their receiving this honor. Whānau Tahi participated in the 2015 Global Access Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where our MBA students had the pleasure of working with the company to develop a strategic business plan for them to enter the U.S. Market. We appreciate Microsoft recognizing the unique value that the company offers social welfare organizations around the world."

US IT organisations were also complimentary.

“The Arctic IT and Tribal Platforms team congratulates Whānau Tahi on this great achievement. We are excited for our strategic relationship and look forward to the future as we leverage technology to bring families together. Great Work,” said Dave Bailey, Chief Technology Officer.

Closer to home, Brett O’Riley, Chief Executive, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) said Whānau Tahi was an example of the world-class innovation emerging from Auckland’s indigenous Māori economy, and Auckland’s IT sector.

“The team at Whanau Tahi has developed an incredibly smart high-tech way to capture the traditional Māori approach to holistic community wellbeing, and it is great to see the potential for this software system to improve health, education and social outcomes for indigenous peoples globally being realised,” Brett said.

“Whanau Tahi is just one of the many world-leading IT companies in Auckland, and ATEED is proud to have worked with Stephen and his team to make the connections the company needs on its journey to success.”

And Hemi Rolleston, Callaghan Innovation’s GM Maori Economy, said Whānau Tahi was a prime example of the opportunities digital technology has created for Māori businesses.

“Whānau Tahi’s success is indicative of a boom in Māori innovation that has technology at its heart. This is just the beginning of an exciting chapter for the Maori economy.We congratulate Whānau Tahi on being a finalist in the 2016 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards, well done.”

John Tamihere, Chief Executive Whānau o Waipareira, said the international endorsement, should make other multi-national IT organisations stand up and take notice.

“This is a solution that’s come out of the community, for the community. It’s not designed by a big multi-national for people they barely understand,” said John. “Coming on the back of our recent success as finalist in the NZ Hi-Tech Awards, this global accolade confirms that Maori hold the key to solving Maori issues.”

Whānau Tahi is in the process of securing contracts off shore.

“We supply our technology and consultancy services to a growing list of organisations in Aotearoa, Australia and Singapore,” said Stephen. “We have signed Memorandums of Understanding in the USA with organisations similar to Waipareira where indigenous and vulnerable communities face similar challenges, whether they are located in Rotorua, Sydney Australia or Atlanta Georgia. For organisations interested in our software, we can actually show them what success looks like,” Stephen said.

For more information contact:

Joseph Lose, 0280007546

Email: joseph.lose@waiWhānau.com