Māori MPs urged to stand strong for Whānau Ora

Iwi chairs in the Whānau Ora Partnership Group have expressed their immense disappointment regarding the criticism some Māori MP's have expressed regarding on the development of Whānau Ora. 

Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) came under close scrutiny this week following the release of the Auditor Generals report which criticised TPK's management of Whānau Ora and the distribution of its funding.

According to the report, Whānau Ora is surrounded by confusion and its aims are unclear. 

The report acknowledges Whānau Ora as innovative, providing new thinking in social service delivery, however, like all new initiatives, it's had teething problems, which are being attributed to TPK.

Chair of the Whānau Ora Partnership Group, Sonny Tau says “we have been meeting with iwi chairs from throughout Aotearoa at Whangaehu Marae, to discuss the pressing issues impacting on whānau, hapu and iwi”

“We are dismayed that some Māori politicians would buy into the beat-up by politically motivated tirades which do nothing but bring this kaupapa into disrepute. We need our people to continue to have faith in their own answers; to be proud of the gains that have already been made in enabling our whānau to be self-managing."

“Up and down our respective rohe we have felt the buzz of whānau working together to create plans to support one another and addressing the things that matter. We pay tribute to the many thousands of whānau, the Whānau Ora collectives, the Regional leadership teams, the governance groups, the Commissioning Agencies (Te Pou Matakana, Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu and Pasifika Futures), the navigators, the action researchers and the marae, the hapu, the iwi who are standing strong in the face of such criticism".

“As Iwi chairs we salute their staunch commitment to our whānau; and we welcome the advice that has come forward from the Auditor General and the Productivity Commission, as giving us insights into what needs to be addressed in our pathway forward” said Mr Tau.

“We expect more from our Maori MPs and we call on their support to encourage all our whānau to achieve successful change in their lives”. 

Earlier this week Te Pou Matakana Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait responded to the report and says the report "confirms what we've always known, Māori are best placed to support whānau, not Crown agencies".