Whānau Ora providers call for increased funding

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

The findings of the Whānau Ora review are due to be released shortly, and supporters of the scheme want funding to continue, saying it has helped more than 45, 000 families. 

Chair of the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Te Ika a Māui (Te Pou Matakana), Merepeka Raukawa-Taiit is calling for an increase in funding.

"My challenge to the government is when you get the report look at it, analyse it and know that there is an opportunity to assist those families who have been parked up on the sidelines for many years," says Raukawa-Tait.

Seven Auckland collective Whānau Ora providers have gathered at a South Auckland marae for capacity building and are concerned that funding is not enough for them to effectively meet the needs of struggling whānau.

"It's better if we had 10 to 20 more staff because there are many whānau with needs," says Te Ao Tanaki of Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi Trust, "But we have only a few staff to help them."

Whānau Ora didn't receive any additional funding at this year's budget announcement, despite the Labour Party's pre-election promise of an increase of $20mil. 

However the Minister of Whānau Ora, Peeni Henare announced a review of the scheme in April this year.

The findings of the review will be reported to Cabinet in December, before it is released to the public.