May 14, 2015
Whanau Ora succeeding
Whanau Ora succeeding
It was sad listening to the nonsense that was being spouted out last week regarding Whanau Ora. It was revealed by the Auditor General that $42 million of the $137 million that was spent on Whanau Ora over four years went on administration. Now, that is too high, with over a third of taxpayers’ dollars going out on goodness knows what. And that’s money that could have been used for families, particularly some of the families my organisation, the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, deals with in South Auckland.
The body responsible for this, Te Puni Kokiri, to be fair generally does a good job in supporting Maori initiatives. And, while I think that their admin fee is too high, it’s hardly a crisis which is what you might have thought after hearing from the likes of Winston Peters and Mike Hoskings. For Winston and Hoskings to waffle on about the failure of Whanau Ora and the waste of taxpayers’ dollars because Te Puni Kokiri spent maybe 10% more on admin than they should have was just wrong.
The Auditor General also said that Whanau Ora generally has been a success. But of course Peters and Hoskings are not interested in that. In fact, Winston’s own sister, Lynette Steward, stated on One News where her brother condemned the project, that Whanau Ora had been a huge success which seems incredibly ironic given what Winston had just said.
Winston sights twenty thousand going out to the Mongrel Mob as an example of the failure of Whanau Ora which is ridiculous. Anomalies like that will happen every week with mainstream agencies. He only needs to look at his sister’s organisation if he wants to see successful examples of how Whanau Ora is rolled out. Lynette, MUMA, and our sister organisation Waipareira, could give Winston hundreds of families where Whanau Ora is being successful.
In simple terms, Whanau Ora is about giving communities and families greater control over their lives and the help they sometimes require from government. Many of us over the years have been critical of the benefit system that has made too many Maori welfare dependent. We wanted something different where our people were not just picking up dole cheques and were more accountable to their community and families. Whanau Ora is proving to be successful at breaking a cycle of dependency we see amongst whanau. Our community organisations, rather than Work & Income, are now dealing with families directly, and on a pittance of funding. And we are getting results. We are giving whanau the attention they need and deserve. And, we are challenging families to take control of their lives and to get off the benefit.
Why is that so hard for Winston and Mike Hoskings to understand?
Tune into Paakiwaha with Willie Jackson. Current affairs from a Maori perspective. Mondays on Radio Waatea
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