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Whanau Ora claim must be fast tracked - Maori Party

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Māori Party supports the urgent claim to the Waitangi Tribunal lodged by five distinguished leaders and announced by Māori Party co-founder Dame Tariana Turia.

The five women - Dame Tariana, Dame Naida Glavish, Lady Tureiti Moxon, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and Whānau Ora commissioning chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait - has launched the legal action, saying the Government’s handling of Whānau Ora has breached the Treaty of Waitangi.

They wrote to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in November last year with concerns over the delivery of Whānau Ora funding, but received no response. The Whānau Ora concept was developed by the Māori Party to help whānau lead the funding and delivery of social services through three Māori-led commissioning agencies.

Māori Party President Che Wilson said it was high time the Government was held to account.

"When the Prime Minister doesn’t respond to Māoridom’s pre-eminent leadership - women who have committed their lives to our people’s wellbeing - we should be worried," he said.

"The Government has hidden the fact it’s directing a lot of Whānau Ora funding back to government-led projects rather than to the commissioning agencies. It has decided that the Government knows best when it comes to our nation’s welfare even though it continually fails in this area of service provision."

"It’s about time the Wellbeing Budget was realised and promises honoured. The Māori Party acknowledges the wisdom of the five wāhine who lodged the claim, and we place faith in our whānau to know they have solutions for the most insidious issues that confront us."

"This urgent claim must be prioritised by the Waitangi Tribunal. Our whānau have endured multiple reviews by this Government, many of which point to the success of Whānau Ora as a lever by which whānau can access the support they need to turn their lives around. We want to see those recommendations taken up and investment in the potential of our whānau to create the difference they deserve to see in their lifetime."

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