Māori Party commits to much more spend for Whānau Ora

Māori Party Tāmaki Makaurau candidate Shane Taurima says it is great that Labour has finally seen the light and recognises that thousands of whānau are achieving their goals and aspirations because of their determination to do better, but announcing  a measly $5m of additional funding per year for Whānau Ora is an abysmal commitment by Labour.

“Over the past three years, the Māori Party has secured $110 million more for Whānau Ora, bringing the total funding since 2010 to $450 million. The Māori Party has been able to secure support for 12,000 whānau a year and nearly 300 navigators across the motu, and the Māori Party are committed to at least doubling funding for Whānau Ora over the next three years,” says Mr Taurima.

“It wasn’t too long ago that Labour was attacking Whānau Ora. It was only in October 2015 that Nanaia Mahuta said:  ‘Whānau Ora isn’t working. It’s time for the Māori Party to admit that Whānau Ora isn’t anchored on solid foundations and has failed…..’ Now two years later, Labour is acknowledging that whānau are in a better place because of Whānau Ora and are prepared to commit more funding.”

Māori Party Tāmaki Makaurau candidate Shane Taurima says it is great that Labour has finally seen the light and recognises that thousands of whānau are achieving their goals and aspirations because of their determination to do better, but announcing  a measly $5m of additional funding per year for Whānau Ora is an abysmal commitment by Labour.

“Over the past three years, the Māori Party has secured $110 million more for Whānau Ora, bringing the total funding since 2010 to $450 million. The Māori Party has been able to secure support for 12,000 whānau a year and nearly 300 navigators across the motu, and the Māori Party are committed to at least doubling funding for Whānau Ora over the next three years,” says Mr Taurima.

“It wasn’t too long ago that Labour was attacking Whānau Ora. It was only in October 2015 that Nanaia Mahuta said:  ‘Whānau Ora isn’t working. It’s time for the Māori Party to admit that Whānau Ora isn’t anchored on solid foundations and has failed…..’ Now two years later, Labour is acknowledging that whānau are in a better place because of Whānau Ora and are prepared to commit more funding.”

“I’ve seen what whānau can achieve when they are given the support and tools to improve their lives. I have worked at the coalface with whānau, providers, commissioning agencies and in government.   

“Whānau Ora is about empowering our whānau and asking, not what is the matter with you, but what matters to you, and how can we support you to achieve your goals and aspirations. This approach needs much greater traction within government departments who provide and fund health, social and employment services for whānau.”

“For too long, under successive governments – red and blue - we’ve been told how mad, bad and sad we are. Whānau Ora gives whānau the opportunity to make their own decisions and chart their own futures.

“We live it and breathe it because it’s ours, and that’s why it must stay under our leadership. The kaupapa will be put at risk if National or Labour takes it over. We know what happened to Mātua Whāngai under the 1992 National government. We know what happened to the Māori Affairs home loans scheme under the 1989 Labour government.  Both got axed.

“Both Labour and National governments over many years have disbanded kaupapa Māori that supported thousands of whānau.  So let’s not be fooled. There is only way that we can ensure that Whānau Ora continues to reach and support more whānau, and that is by making sure that the Māori Party is at the table.”

Mr Taurima says a recent case study from Lincoln University on Whānau Ora showed that for every $1 spent there was a potential return of $7.

“This type of evaluation points to the trend that there is no greater investment than investing in whānau and Whānau Ora. It shows that if we invest in building capability within whānau we enable wider cultural and social gains.”

Mr Taurima says 10 years ago Labour opposed the UN Declaration on the Rights of indigenous people. One of the key articles in the Declaration is the right to be self-determining.

“Three years later, the Māori Party successfully overthrew that position; leading New Zealand to sign up on 20 April 2010. Just a fortnight earlier, Whānau Ora was launched. The two are intrinsically linked.”

Authorised by Susan Cullen, 5 Gala Street, Waihōpai