TAHUA 2018: No additional funding for Whānau Ora

The Māori Party and commissioning agency Te Pou Matakana have expressed their dissatisfaction following Labour's announcement that there will be no additional funding for Whānau Ora. 

This comes despite the Labour Party announcing its Whānau Ora policy in 2017, committing to an increase of $20mil. 

The agency's chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait has described today's announcement as "disappointing".

"This government has given us a budget of broken promises and this is disappointing.  Its commitment to whānau, made in 2017, seems to have been forgotten, despite there being a large proportion of Māori MPs and Māori cabinet ministers.

"This government is well-placed to ensure whānau can flourish. This is an important time for Whānau Ora.  For the last four years, we’ve focused on setting a foundation that works for whānau and communities.  Building capacity and capability with our partners mean we now have an extensive Whānau Ora network that reaches across Aotearoa into the most vulnerable communities,” says Raukawa-Tait.

The Māori Party has also voiced disappointment regarding Whānau Ora, with President Che Wilson saying they are deeply concerned about the direction that the Labour government is taking in mainstreaming Māori issues.

“It is a typical Labour approach. We are disappointed. We’ve got more Māori MP’s in government than ever before, but the Labour Party still won’t back Whānau or communities to lead their own development.”

“It’s concerning because it also hints at their wider agenda around mainstreaming Māori issues. We already know that what works for mainstream doesn’t work for Māori – it’s a failed approach, and yet here we are again,” said Mr. Wilson.

Whānau Ora is currently under review by the government.

Te Pou Matakana works with over 80 Whānau Ora providers across the North Island that support over 9,000 whānau every year, and these numbers continue to grow. 

“Whānau Ora is exceeding targets and as a result whānau are realising outcomes in improved physical and personal health, better standards of living and raising education levels, to name a few.  We have reached a place where real change is happening.

"We have an open invitation to government agencies seeking collaboration, co-design and co-investment from across the sectors as we support whānau to plan and achieve their own success.  We are working to overcome state silos and deliver fit-for-purpose services by, for and with whānau,” says Ms Raukawa-Tait.