June 20, 2022
Tribal ambition can’t undermine Whānau Ora
The chief executive of the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency says the Ngāi Tahu Rūnanga’s decision to pull out of its South Island counterpart raises questions about equity within Maoridom.
John Tamihere says some iwi who settled in the 1990s are now sitting on billion dollar balance sheets and may feel they should do more for their own people.
But they need to acknowledge the majority of Māori in their rohe are from other iwi, and that their own people are scattered around the motu and are more likely to get services from non-iwi bodies like his own Te Whānau o Waipareira in West Auckland.
“They’re targeting solely their own beneficiary base – at one level you and I must get that but at another level don’t make a grab for everything and be greedy because you don’t want to start acting like pākeha – we’ve got a different tikanga. They say ‘we manaaki everyone,’ that’s simply not true. They must manaaki first and foremost their own whakapapa,” Mr Tamihere says.
He says Māori don’t want a situation like in North America where people living in reservations get preferential treatment to those living away.