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Minister Speaks up to Confront Funding Suggestions

Hon Tariana Turia

Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora
3 August 2011 Media Release

Minister Speaks up to Confront Funding Suggestions

“From time to time, there has been speculation that when a decision has been made to cut a programme, it must be to support Whanau Ora. I’ve heard it said in the family violence field; wild rumours have circulated around health providers, and now I’ve heard that Northland provider, Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe, has suggested that their youth programme (funded out of the Healthy Eating, Healthy Action fund) was cut and the funding transferred to Whanau Ora.

“Truth is, the money that is being used for Whanau Ora was not previously committed to any particular initiative or programme; it was in fact funded by reprioritising existing funding, primarily within Vote Social Development”.

“I have no responsibility for any decisions that were made around the nutrition programme run by Te Hau Ora, but I am really pleased that they were selected as part of a collective of providers (Te Pü o Te Wheke) to drive the Whanau Ora approach across their communities.

“It was terribly disappointing to see the comments made by the Association of Non-Government Organisations of Aotearoa about increasing concern within that sector about the reallocation of funds, particularly around Whanau Ora”.

“Here we have an organisation that has a long history of expressing commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, raising issues about an approach developed within a kaupapa Maori and Tikanga Maori framework accepted by government which has every opportunity to lead transformation within our whanau”.

“It is not appropriate for me to question the basis for the speculation, but I want to really assure New Zealanders, that the funding for Whanau Ora was not previously allocated. There is nothing to fear from Maori development and advancement – it can only be good for whanau and good for Aotearoa”.

“Actually if we had received all the funding that all the speculation would suggest, we’d see Whanau Ora based in every marae, in every whanau, throughout Aotearoa!” said Mrs Turia. “Now wouldn’t that be breaking news!”

ENDS

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