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Whanau Ora helps Edith get moving

With a car that had no warrant of fitness, Glen Eden resident Edith Tuinukuafe didn’t know how her family would cope.

“The car helped me take my two daughters to school and my parents to their medical appointments,” she says.

“My eldest daughter goes to Mt Albert Grammar and needs driving to the Glen Eden Station in the mornings and needs to be picked up again after school. But I just couldn’t afford to get the warrant and to keep it running.”

Oral health is another area Edith needed some assistance with. She was in pain because of the high cost of dental treatment which she could not afford. The Fono were able to assist her with accessing dental treatment.

Enrolled with The Fono Medical Centre in Henderson, The Fono’s holistic approach to well-being meant the team was able to refer Edith to the Whanau Ora service.

In May, with Tala Naseri appointed as her Whanau Ora Navigator, the two met to identify Edith’s needs and come up with a plan to support her through her goals.

As there are school aged children in the family The Fono provided them with an in home education session about Rheumatic fever and some preventative measures against the illness.

Edith became aware she was eligible to receive financial assistance from Work and Income and Whanau Ora was able to assist with vehicle repairs and gaining a WOF for her vehicle. She is now able to drive in a road worthy vehicle without fear of being fined.

“It has been a big help, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get around and the whole family would suffer,” says Edith.

She was also able to access dental assistance through Whanau Ora, giving her “some peace”.

The relief enabled her to cope better with looking after her elderly parents, with her mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1997 Edith herself was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder – an illness characterised by mood swings, including manic depression. She is unable to work because she has trouble concentrating for any length of time.

To support her with longer term goals, Edith has been referred by The Fono to financial literacy providers.

“Financial literacy providers enabled Edith to better understand the financial position she was facing,” says Tala.

“She has started a savings plan and this small change will help her and her family progress forward.”

Edith says she is working hard to look after her family and appreciates the assistance The Fono has provided.

“The fiancial literacy support has helped me manage better with what we have. Our family has definitely moved forward, which I’m thankful for.”


Whanau Ora has been able to work in partnership with Edith and her family through completing a comprehensive assessment and identifying their needs. Both the Navigator and family developed a plan that would meet current needs and plan for future needs particularly financial. So far, Whanau Ora has supported them through:


Financial burden with mounting debt including: 

  • No warrant of fitness for their vehicle with constant fines
  • No savings to pay for much-needed dental treatment

Support provided by The Fono

  • Whanau Ora Navigation service to develop a family plan
  • Assisted to meet some of the costs in the plan through Whanau Ora
  • Rheumatic fever education in the family home

Referral to other services including

  • Work and Income New Zealand
  • Referred to a dentist for oral health care
  • Referred to a financial literacy provider

The Fono’s Whanau Ora services 

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