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PM’s Presser: Whanau Oh, Er, Ahh…

PM’s Presser: Whanau Oh, Er, Ahh…

Confusion reigned in the Beehive Theatrette today as reporters grappled with funding for the Government’s flagship Whanau Ora programme.

Prime Minister John Key and Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia Thursday announced $134m in spending on the programme over the next four years, drawn from the Government’s $1.2b Pathway To Partnership fund.

The programme seeks to appoint whanau ‘navigators’ to monitor up to twenty families each and liaise with health and welfare providers for them, preventing what Key described as “five cars in the driveway”.

The $134m would be a starting point and would not include funding for existing contracts, he said.

Turia added that figure would rise over time to a value of $1b as Housing, Justice and police agencies are integrated.

But Turia was less clear about how Whanau Ora’s funding would be spent.

Whanau Ora’s budget would pay for hiring and training staff, “building provider capability” and research, with some spent on purchasing new service contracts as needed.

But Turia could not say how navigators would access funding to purchase those services.

“That level of detail still has to be worked through - the Government’s group has only met once.”

“This is not about money; it’s about transforming families,” she said.

Allocation of remaining Pathways to Partnership funds would be announced in the Budget, Key said.



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