Minister Promises To Correct Budget Details
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said she accepts Minister Peeni Henare will correct Thursday’s budget announcment which decreased Whānau Ora funding money by $10 million.
On Thursday the Minister announced a $137m boost to Whānau Ora. But a closer inspection of the numbers revealed the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency would actually loose $10m.
Following a meeting this morning with the Minister, Raukawa-Tait said Henare promised to correct the error as quickly as he can – meaning funding for the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency would increase.
“For that we must acknowledge the Minister for the extra resources,” Raukawa-Tait said.
“I can only take the Minister at this word that this will be done as spedily as possible - so we must acknowledge Minister Henare.
“But in the big scheme of things it is still not enough putea to make positive change for our people.”
She said this government had missed this once in a generation opportunity to make major investments to uplift vulnerable communities and whānau.
Raukawa-Tait said while most state funded agencies ran for the hills when Covid-19 came to town, Whānau Ora kaimahi manned the front line to ensure vulnerable communities and whānau received tens of thousands of food and much needed hygiene packs.
“Our Whānau Ora partners worked tirelessly and fearlessly while everyone went into lockdown, and the demand for our work will unquestionably increase - but will our resources be enough?” Raukawa-Tait said of the budget.
“We thank the Labour Government for recognizing our stellar performance during this pandemic, our concern moving forward is will our resource be enough as we continue our immediate and critical support to our communities in the wake of COVID-19.”
Whānau Ora provider’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic was the re-engineer the workforce and redeployed navigators to address immediate whānau need. This extend the Whānau Ora reach by over 800% to support more than 100,000 whānau during lockdown.
Through the hard work and leadership of the Whānau Ora partners Covid testing sites in rurally and in urban areas were established.
“I challenge you to show me another similar organization who can execute that type of impact with the same results. Whānau Ora partners are deeply entrenched in their communities, know their people and are consistently supporting the most remote, elderly and vulnerable throughout the country ahead of other agencies, and we will continue to do so.”
The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency continues to deliver an effective and transparent investment model. Through our own I.T solution, Whānau Tahi, we are able to account for every dollar we receive. “Our weekly reporting to the Minister demonstrates the support we are providing to whānau, resources we are delivering and the relative investment across each of our communities - no other group is as accountable as us, or is able to provide this level of detail in time, on time.
“COVID-19 has seen many of our people isolated, unemployed and struggling as we head towards the harsh winter months. Our work will not cease, it will in fact continue to the highest level as we help our people survive in these very challenging times.”