The Auditor General’s report on Whanau Ora highlights what many people knew – Te Puni Kokiri was never designed to be a service delivery agency, said Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora spokesperson Adrian Rurawhe.
“In the first four years $137.6m was spent on Whanau Ora, yet one third of that funding was spent on administration costs in Te Puni Kokiri,” said Nanaia Mahuta.
“However it’s not clear whether accurate statistics were collated detailing the ethnicity of those accessing Whanau Ora services and there is no evidence that research evaluation was being engaged to look at the medium to long-term benefits of the initiative.
“The report was somewhat critical of the lack of integrated support from Ministries of Health and Social Development who continue to focus on individual outcomes rather than whanau-centred outcomes,” said Nanaia Mahuta.
“This is supported by feedback that I received that these agencies never really changed their operating practice or funding framework to better accommodate the aspirations of a whanau-centred model,” said Whanau Ora Spokesperson Adrian Rurawhe.
“Labour maintains there are many positive aspects of a whanau-centred approach, the practical benefits of integrated contracts and the innovations that can be gained through better service delivery for whanau seeking to build greater resilience to some very challenging circumstances.
“We would evaluate this initiative to ensure the best aspects of Whanau Ora are retained and look for ways better outcomes can be progressed.
“In the coming weeks we will be seeking answers from the Minister about what action he intends to take given the findings of the report and the uncertain landscape that some providers are currently in,” said Adrian Rurawhe.