Wairoa has been selected as one of the first towns in New Zealand to be given local responsibility to commission Whānau Ora projects.
It's the first tangible result of last year's drive to Parliament to demand more autonomy from Wellington bureaucracy.
Whānau Ora (Māori for "family health") is a contemporary indigenous health initiative in New Zealand, driven by Māori cultural values.
Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare, who made the announcement last week, said he was impressed with Wairoa's presentation at the time.
He was also impressed with Kakapa Te Wairoa document that proposed that Wairoa creates a foundation of community-led social innovation and enterprise, to bring about sustained change.
"Wairoa's presentation gave us optimism and an ability to offer support."
Wairoa mayor Craig Little said Wairoa arrived "in force" in Wellington last year and "demonstrated why locally-based solutions are the best approach.
"This is about Wairoa solutions for Wairoa issues. We look forward to the development of a community-led and government partnered approach to working with communities," he said.
"The town gets on and does what it needs to do and because of that success, passion and vision we want to help empower the community through localised commissioning.
"Places like Wairoa know what is best for Wairoa and they must be empowered. By whānau for whānau."
Henare said a localised approach to Whānau Ora commissioning is about "making home-grown Whānau Ora solutions more accessible in communities which is key to ensuring better outcomes for whānau".
He said localised commissioning puts resources "closer to where they need to be."
"Te Tipu Mātoro ki te Āo (The Whānau Ora Review 2018) provided the opportunity to bring the decisions about where the money is spent for whānau closer to the whānau.
"While Commissioning Agencies remain a primary channel for this funding, the extension through localised commissioning aims to reach further into some communities."
Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae, on behalf of the Wairoa Community Partnership Group, is contracted to pilot the localised commissioning approach.
Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae chairman Richard Niania said they had been waiting for this day since 2011, and the time has now arrived.
"Everybody is caught up in the excitement of localised commissioning. This is an opportunity for iwi, hapū, whānau, marae and communities to work together to uplift and improve the wellbeing for families throughout the district."