Friday, May 15, 2015

The Folly that is Whanau Ora

The following was written for NZCPR:

On the campaign trail last year, ACT leader Jamie Whyte was ridiculed for being “clueless” about Whanau Ora. This became apparent when questioned by Mihingarangi Forbes on Maori Television. But Whyte certainly wasn’t alone in his inability to describe what Whanau Ora is or does. Annette King, then Labour’s social services spokeswoman, described it as “blancmange” because “when you try to get a grasp of it, it slips through your fingers.” In 2009, when asked for a definition of Whanau Ora by parliamentarians, Families Commissioner Jan Pryor struggled, “I am putting a caveat around it for the simple fact that I am a middle class white woman. And so I don’t feel that I should be giving definitive answers.”
This week, even Lyn Provost, the Auditor General who has presumably spent many, many hours putting together a report on Whanau Ora said, “It was not easy to describe what it is or what it has achieved.”


Muriel Newman backgrounds the history during which time she was an MP:

The policy has had a long gestation. It was first announced in January 2000, under the guise of “Closing the Gaps”, as a flagship policy of Helen Clark’s Labour Government. The Prime Minister established a special Closing the Gaps Cabinet Committee and committed $140 million to the policy over four years: “There has been a strong voice from Maoridom urging that it be able to take control of its own destiny, determine its own strategies, and devise its own solutions. That means the government going back into the mainstream budgets and ensuring that funding meant for Maori actually delivers for Maori. The evidence is that it has not been. It means strengthening the capacity of Maori organisations to strategise, to plan, and to deliver services.”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What it has achieved is making some Maori richer than they were for doing nothing much at all.