• Karl Bailey

The Tāmaki Wellbeing Bach Closes - A New Chapter Begins

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

Kua hua te marama - Something has completed a full cycle

Tamaki Bach closing celebration

At the end of July 2019, our beloved Tāmaki Wellbeing Bach closed its doors, marking the end of chapter in a longer journey that still continues to bridge health and community through the activation of local wellbeing.

Here is a little reflection on the time and territory we covered through the tenure of 8 Clifton Court, Pamure, Tāmaki-Makaurau

Localities Mission Lift Off

From 2008, both Auckland and Waitemata District Health Boards (DHBs) reshaped experiences of mental health and wellbeing. The DHBs used a localities approach with the goal of working together with communities to create conditions where local people can take greater control over their own health and wellbeing.

This set in motion a move by the Auckland DHB Strategy, Participation and Improvement unit to focus on the Tāmaki locality (a cluster of East Auckland suburbs including Glen Innes, Pt England and Panmure) - with the goal of collaboratively improving meaningful health outcomes, determined and in partnership with the local community.

In 2013, a series of intensive community engagements led to the development of a shared vision where the experience of mental health and wellbeing focused on the wellness of the whole person in their family, whānau and community, over the whole of their life, supported by integrated services that are relevant to Tāmaki.

From this point onwards, a comprehensive programme of work was co-designed with a diverse group of stakeholders. A commercial lease was taken out on 8 Clifton Court, Panmure previously an old furniture shop which eventually became affectionately known as ‘the Bach’. This store front building was destined to become a whare headquarters which would go on to provide a space of care, creativity and community partnerships. The Bach would become a place where people would work and learn together, whilst producing wellbeing innovations that would bring the programmes vision to life.

A Portfolio of Health and Wellbeing Innovations

Wellbeing innovations you say.... here is a snapshot of a few projects that were launched from the Tāmaki Wellbeing Bach:

  • Tāmaki Mental Health and Wellbeing Steering Group: A unique mixed membership steering group comprising of government, non-government and community stakeholders joining forces to take a mulit-disciplinary localities approach to raising health and wellbeing outcomes in Tāmaki.

  • Awhi Ora: Walk Alongside Support is a flexible and person-centred wellbeing support service, helping people to identify and work on the challenges that are important to them.

  • Breathing Spaces: This initiative is about community wellbeing and growing healthy relationships in Tāmaki. Breathing Spaces provides an opportunity for women who raise families to come together in a safe and life giving ‘space’ where they can learn from each other as they nurture and grow healthy and prosperous whānau.

  • Flipping East Youth Wellbeing Lab: A rangatahi social innovation platform for change, creating conditions for youth wellbeing and civic participation in East Auckland.

  • Tāmaki Wellbeing Fund: A community commissioning experiment placing $15k worth of investment into the hands of local people to undertake a participatory budgeting approach to allocate resources to community-led wellbeing initiatives.

Also a Community Hub and Sanctuary

Even more impressive was the ability for the Bach to serve as a community hub and sanctuary for a range of initiatives, groups and individuals. This included a Jobs and Skills Pop Up Hub; Radio Tama’ohi, a Tongan community radio staion; Mental Health peer support groups; meeting space for the Tāmaki Youth Council and Pacific Island prayer groups; as well as an informal hangout space for local residents to come and have a cup of coffee on a Monday morning.

Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi - The old net is cast aside, while the new net goes a-catching

Home is not merely roof and room but something we endear and a place where love and hope resides. We bid farewell to the Tāmaki Wellbeing Bach. Special thanks to Auckland DHB for sharing this home with us and for all those who worked alongside us over the years as well as those who came to celebrate our achievements at the closure of the Bach.

Although the Auckland DHB Tāmaki Wellbeing team are leaving this place, we‘re in the neighbourhood still and working out of the Tāmaki Response office (above the library). So whilst where we work from has changed, our māhi remains the same remains..

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