February 12, 2020
Dames get PM’s ear on whanau ora changes
Senior wahine Māori leaders have told the Prime Minister to tell her Whānau Ora Minister to stop undermining the commissioning agencies running the social services delivery programme.
The five known as the dames and whānau ora founding strategist Professor Sir Mason Durie met with Jacinda Ardern this week to express their concern that Peeni Henare was channelling whānau ora pūtea through Corrections and other government agencies.
North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency head Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says the scheme works because it is independent of government and puts individual whānau at the centre of developing the support services they need.
"No one bangs on the door of a government department these days if they can absolutely help it. They are not iwi-centric. They are not there on the ground. They will start to impose 'this is how we want it.' They will start to impose a one size fits all, and you can just see it is going to go south pretty smartly, so we certainly spoke to the Prime Minister about that sort of nonsense," she says.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says government agencies aren’t held responsible when they fail in the same way Māori organisations are.
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