Budget 2016 - Turia says Whānau Ora deserves more

By Ripeka Timutimu

A social services provider in Porirua says Whānau Ora isn't reaching those who need it and wants a chunk of this year's funding to fill the gap.

The Whānau Centre is all fun and games.

Manager Liz Kelly says outside these gates, it's a different story.

“They had found ten children in that home that weren't participating in early childhood education as a collective those children are now participating.”

The Whānau Centre provides health and social services in the community of Cannons Creek, but they receive no Whānau Ora funding.

“We need the money, everyone says it’s a great program but nobody has funding, so yes if we could get whānau ora funding that would be great.”

Whānau Ora is set to get by $40mil over four years. In 2015, it received $50mil in funding.

Kelly says, “we have one Whānau Ora provider in Porirua, and whilst they might be making a difference, having said that there’s room for improvement.”

Founder of Whānau Ora Dame Tariana Turia is confident it's a good investment.

“I would’ve preferred to see more because I think we still continue to waste a lot of money giving to and for families, rather than enabling families to do for themselves and to getting the resource where it’s needed the most,” says Turia.

It's hoped that these kids will benefit from a chunk of the Whānau Ora funding.