Whānau Ora minister fronts Ngā Whare Waatea marae

By Mānia Clarke

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has fronted up to last Xmas parcel distribution at Ngā Whare Waatea marae at the invitation of MUMA Whānau Ora.

Manager Veronica Henare says she wants the government to do more to support struggling families at Christmas.

“I've seen the poverty of the struggling families,” says Peeni Henare, “so we need to create a strategy for next Christmas.”

For the last nine days Waatea have distributed 200 Auckland City Mission emergency Christmas parcels each day to whānau in need, however 270 parcels were allocated today.

The Minister got to see first-hand the extent of the need.

“Come face the people and see what this has been all about, and he did, you know I acknowledge him for that,” says Veronica.

In a last push all food parcels and donations will be given out, however Henare believes many whānau will still be without this Xmas.

“In the last year my office has been laying the foundations of Whānau Ora for the next 10 to 20 years,” says Peeni.

“I am confident that this is going to be better next year. He gives me confidence and for me that's enough,” says Veronica.

The Minister has signalled more whānau will be helped through new Whānau Ora funding in next year’s budget.