The Wise Group was created in 1989 – but we weren’t called the Wise Group back then. We had one organisation, one employee and a dream to help people with mental illness live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Our work includes health and wellbeing services, education and training, workforce development and research, software development, housing support, employment and navigation services and business support services.
Read on to find out more about each of the organisations within the Wise Group and the fresh possibilities we are creating for people, organisations and communities.
We believe in valuing people
and enhancing wellbeing.
A group of community organisations and individuals in Hamilton concerned about the lack of support for people from Tokanui Hospital formed a charitable trust to provide practical daily living support. This trust would later become known as Pathways.
Today, Pathways provides a range of community-based support services around housing, practical daily living, employment and being healthy to help people with experience of mental illness to live well in the communities of their choice. Pathways also supports Real, a range of wellbeing services for young New Zealanders.
As community-based services grew, so too did roles for community support workers. To meet the training needs of this emerging workforce, high quality education was required to develop skills in mental health care. A training organisation, Blueprint for Learning, was established to provide specialist training for mental health workers.
Today, Blueprint for Learning develops and delivers professional training programmes for leaders, managers and support workers in the mental health and social service sectors.
People using Pathways’ services wanted the same things as everyone else in the community – including meaningful employment. New research also indicated that employment is good for recovery from mental illness. This was the start of evidence based supported employment in New Zealand. A new organisation, Workwise, was established to support people find, get and keep a real job with real pay. Workwise established and operated a number of social enterprises to create employment for its clients. Over time these other businesses were sold to entrepreneurs to carry on this work.
Today Workwise works with people who are facing personal or health challenges and supports them to find and keep jobs. Having a paid, meaningful job plays a crucial role in helping people live happy, healthy lives.
In New Zealand there are around 200,000 people of working age with mental health issues who are out of work, two-thirds of whom would like to work, but often the support they need is not available.
Having a home that is affordable and meets our needs is important to us all. But sometimes finding, getting and keeping a home can be a challenge. Keys Living Choices was established in 2001 to support people using Pathways’ services towards independent living. The organisation then became known as Keys Social Housing.
Today, Keys Social Housing services are provided by LinkPeople - a registered community housing provider and part of the Wise Group. It supports people to live well in safe, healthy and affordable homes.
Multiple organisations and a growing structure highlighted the need for dedicated, high quality specialist businesses services. To avoid duplication and create economies of scale, Wise Management Services, was formed to provide HR, IT, finance, legal and contracts, and communication expertise to the group’s frontline services.
We believe in being experts
in everything we do.
A number of Government-initiated workforce and research programmes were tendered out by the Ministry of Health for further advancement. Wise was selected to host these programmes, and New Zealand’s first national workforce development organisation was created - Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui – The Pillar of Contemplation, of Reflective Thinking. Between 2008 and 2013 Le Va was the Pacific-focused workforce development programme within Te Pou.
Today, Te Pou provides resources, tools and support to improve the workforce performance of mental health, addiction and disability services. Te Pou leads a range of initiatives designed to address workforce development needs. Te Pou incorporates Disability Workforce Development and Matua Raki (addiction workforce development).
Pathways was one of the first community-based mental health services in New Zealand using an electronic client management system, called PHACTS. This system was developed by the Wise Management Services IS team. In 2008 the Government announced that all mental health services would be required to collect information and report on the health outcomes of the people they serve. Wise saw an opportunity to take its tried and tested system to market…and Wild Bamboo was born.
Today, Wild Bamboo delivers client management system, Recordbase, to community organisations so they can easily manage client information and quickly report to funders – giving them more time for client care and support.
Recordbase reports directly to PRIMHD with 36 built-in outcome measures.
We wanted to respond to the mental health and wellbeing needs of young New Zealanders so we worked with young people to design what these services would be like. In 2011 a suite of services for young people was launched, called Real. We believe by supporting young people in a way that recognises their need for unique services and supports, fewer will go on to need services later in their lives.
Real is for all young New Zealanders – wherever they are in terms of their health and wellbeing – to improve their resilience and grow confidence. Today, supported by Pathways, Real is operating youth services in several New Zealand regions.
Wise had been involved with establishing the service navigation organisation Linkage in its formative years in Hamilton. In 2012 a new partnership between Linkage Limited and the Wise Group was forged with the aim to further improve the health and wellbeing of communities and people around New Zealand by helping people to access information and support for their needs.
Today, Linkage services are provided by LinkPeople. It helps people to access the supports they need for their health and wellbeing.
The Wise Group has a history of incubating and supporting new initiatives. Le Va was established in 2008 as the Pacific-focused workforce development programme within Te Pou. The plan had always been to take this approach to the next level and develop an organisation dedicated to the holistic wellbeing of Pasifika. The natural next step was to establish Le Va as its own organisation (trading as Pacific Inc. Ltd), with a focus that goes beyond workforce development to meet the broader health and wellbeing needs of Pacific communities.
Today, Le Va walks alongside Pasifika families, communities and services to provide resources, tools and information for the best possible health, wellbeing and social outcomes.
People sleeping rough is a complex issue and it will take many of us working together to solve it. The People’s Project has been established because so many people in Hamilton are concerned about people who are on the street or sleeping rough. We need a community wide response. The Wise Group leads this project with key organisations who all want to solve homelessness.
We have an ambitious goal – Hamilton will not have a homeless population by 2016.
Having a home and successfully navigating social services are both really important for a person's wellbeing. So in 2016, Keys Social Housing and Linkage teamed up to become LinkPeople.
LinkPeople is a registered community housing provider that links people to healthy and affordable homes and the health and social supports they need for their wellbeing - because everyone has the potential to live well and the right to a healthy home. Today, LinkPeople services are available in Auckland, Waikato, Rotorua, Taranaki, Whanganui, Wellington and Christchurch.