Whānau Ora sparks parliamentary debate

By Maiki Sherman

An urgent debate was held in Parliament regarding Whānau Ora following the release of a report by the Auditor-General.

The Labour Party is also calling for an investigation into Whānau Ora service providers and Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) regarding financial expenditure.

According to Whānau Ora figures, of the $137.6 million budget, $42.3 million went toward administration costs.

It's that figure which Labour believes needs further investigation.

During question time, the Prime Minister was also forced to answer challenges by opposition and it was the usual groans from Winston Peters.

Labour says an investigation is needed into Whānau Ora service providers and Te Puni Kōkiri, in particular the $42.3 million on administration costs.

Te Ururoa Flavell says, “The financial spending has been looked into by Parliament's Māori Affairs Select Committee so there's no point in that argument.”

The chairman of the Whānau Ora Northland commissioning agency says they have recommendations and will implement them going forward. 

Nanaia Mahuta says, “We will be inviting these commissioning agencies to come and meet with our Māori caucus so that we can ask them how they plan on implementing the work of Whānau Ora.”

In the end, all parties agreed, except for New Zealand First, that Whānau Ora should remain.