May 21, 2018
Whanau Ora funding awaits review
The chair of North Island Whanau Ora commissioning agency Te Pou Matakana says she’s brassed off no extra brass was on offer last weeks Budget.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says the $20 million boost the new Government promised last year seems to have been forgotten
She questions the commitment of Whanau Ora Minister Peeni Henare to Maori-led initiatives.
"Maori need to be grateful there is additional funding going in to health and education etc but when you see the additional amount, say $270 million, going to Oranga Tamariki to expand their services, I mean why would you put it into a government department for god’s sake? Mainstreaming is certainly on the agenda for this Government to bring us back into the fold. That will never serve Maori well," Ms Raukawa-Tait says.
Whanau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says future funding for whanau ora will depend on a current review of the programme.
He rejects criticism he wasn’t doing enough to champion the Maori-centric service delivery model.
While it may not have been a priority in the coalition’s first Budget, its time will come.
"We were very clear from the outset Whanau Ora was going to undertake a review and it wasn’t until that review is completed that I think Whanau Ora can achieve the potential we know it all can achieve," Mr Henare says.
He says many Maori aren’t connected to a marae or kura, and increased spending on health, housing and education will help them as well as the other people served by whanau ora providers.
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