Peeni Henare talks Whānau Ora 2019

By Talisa Kupenga

With no extra funding for Whānau Ora in Budget 2018 and the report into the programme's review still to be released, Whanau Ora Minister Peeni Henare talks about the next steps come 2019.

Minister Henare says, "The biggest outcome I'd like to see is Whānau Ora and Government programmes really working together."

This could mean different foundations within Government and different funding models.

Henare says, "We know Te Pou Matakana has a central role in communities when it comes to Whānau Ora but I've said to Government it's a waste of government funds if families aren't thriving."

Whanau Ora commissioning agency Te Pou Matakana paid a $600,000 surplus for 2016/17 to a private shareholder. This year's surplus was nearly $1 million.

Henare says he’d prefer surplus funds go to families and service providers but stopped short of saying he would remove the agency from its commissioning role.

"The report says it is doing as it should when it comes to allocating funds but the report also asked what would Whānau Ora look like in ten or twenty years, and if the programme did want to look at alternative options this is the time to look at building those foundations for a new direction."

The Whanau Ora report is expected to be released after house resumes February.