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Lost opportunity for whanau and New Zealand

6 May 2010

Lost opportunity for whanau and New Zealand

The National Government’s failure to invest in Whanau Ora could doom it to failure, said the Green Party today.

“Failing to properly fund Whanau Ora is a missed opportunity to help vulnerable whanau in need,” said Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

“We know that the current fragmented Government services are not working for Maori. Working with whanau on holistic solutions that address their needs makes sense but it simply won’t work without appropriate investment.”

The Government launched Whanau Ora today. It will be funded out of existing baselines at the rate of $ 33.5 million annually for four years.

“John Key’s Government looks set to give out hundreds of millions in tax breaks to the rich, but won’t invest in supporting vulnerable whanau at the bottom of the heap to meet their needs. This is not fair and it is not right,” Mrs Turei said.

“Whanau Ora won’t work unless there is new money put in to it. Instead they are funding it out of existing baselines which will put more pressure on the already deeply stretched social service sector to do more with the same or less money.

“Rolling out a new model aimed at early intervention and prevention will save money in the long run but it requires significant commitment upfront, and this is missing.

“Big inequalities exist in our society, especially between Maori and non-Maori. Whanau Ora was an opportunity to make a change and help create a fairer society, but under current funding it is an opportunity missed.

“The research shows that an unequal society is bad for everyone, not just those on the bottom, as it drives social problems across all of society. Despite this, John Key’s Government seems committed to making inequality worse,” said Mrs Turei.

Further information:

Tax breaks
- reducing the personal tax rate to 33% will cost an estimated $624 million.
- reducing the top and upper middle personal tax rate cost to 30% will cost an estimated $1,309 million.
- reducing the top and upper middle person tax rates to 28 percent will cost an estimated $1,766 million (Based on Treasury’s Total Personal Taxable Income Contributed to Each Income Band. 7 April 2010)

Research on the negative impacts of inequality is available at


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