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Turia Endorses 'Whanau First' as the Way to Go

Turia Endorses 'Whanau First' as the Way to Go

“I am delighted that Monte Ohia, Candidate for Te Tai Tonga, has had such a positive response to the Whanau First policy released today” stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

“Our people have felt so battered by all of the negative talk against them” stated Mrs Turia. “Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed policy has been devastating in terms of the damage it has done to the spirit of our people. Dr Brash’s attacks, and the constant bickering around ‘race-based’ arguments have all left their toll, and Maori are on the move”.

“Maori have looked to the Maori Party in their call for a strong and independent Maori voice in Parliament” said Mrs Turia. “As part of this, we know that we must build on the unique strengths that Maori share with the nation. The innovation, the effectiveness and the leadership of whanau is absolutely central to this”.

“The Whanau Development Commission is a way of harnessing the stability and strengths of whanau, as an opportunity for the people to flourish” said Mrs Turia. “We are confident that the benefits of collective arrangements promoted through whanau can also be good for the nation”.

The other initiative announced today was the Whanau Enterprise Programme.

“This programme celebrates the inherent entrepreneurship of Maori people and their whanau” said Mrs Turia. “It builds strong whanau enterprise by drawing on the leadership and positive example of whanau-focused business practice. This can have significant benefits for economic advancement, as well as supporting the self-reliance of whanau and individuals”.

“We have always said that whanau are our own best solution. Today’s announcements demonstrate the pathway forward is to base our progress on the collective wealth of people”.


Helen Leahy, ph 021-881-031

Frequently Asked Questions - WHANAU FIRST

1. What is the difference between whanau and families?

Whanau is a uniquely Maori model of economic, social and cultural organisation. It values collective effort as much as (and sometimes even more than) individual effort. It has parallels (such as families, aiga) in other cultures but whanau is specific to Maori culture.

2. Why do we need to focus on whanau specifically?

Whanau is home - grown. It is not indigenous to any other part of the world and it is specific to Maori. Whanau is an unheralded model for achieving economic security, creating social cohesion and stability and strengthening cultural identity. Whanau is subsumed in the concept of families and for Maori this is not always helpful.

3. What exactly will the Maori Party do to fulfil its Whanau First goals?

The Maori Party will establish a Whanau Development Commission to advise future governments on how to empower whanau to reach their potential, promote innovation and leadership within whanau and develop an economic and social policy programme that responds specifically to the needs of whanau.

The Party will also develop a Whanau Enterprise Programme to help drive economic advancement amongst whanau and increase the number of successful whanau business enterprises operating around the country.

4. What is the difference between the Whanau Development Commission and the Families Commission?

The role and function of the Whanau Development Commission will be determined according to kaupapa Maori (Maori values and principles).

5. What are the first couple of things you would want the Whanau Development Commission to do?

Review economic, social and cultural development policies and programmes to:

• Determine where current expenditure on families is being targeted

• What effect that spend is having or has had on whanau

• Identify areas for improvement

• Based on its analysis, provide advice on whether, where and how government might re-orient its existing and future economic, social and cultural development investment in whanau

6. What is the Whanau Enterprise Programme about?

The programme will:

(a) Provide incentives for the development and growth of whanau-based business enterprises

(b) Help whanau to gain confidence in their ability to develop, grow, manage and make the decisions about their own assets

(c) Tap into their own ingenuity, adaptability and entrepreneurship

(d) Help to build and support whanau-focused business practice.

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