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Iwi Chairs caution Government agencies

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Iwi Chair of the Whanau Ora Partnership Group, Raniera (Sonny) Tau, has cautioned government agencies and politicians, ‘Kia tÅ«pato’ if there is any thought of slowing down progress in the momentum associated with Whanau Ora.

Mr Tau chairs the Whanau Ora Partnership Group in association with the Minister for Whanau Ora. The Partnership Group is a high level strategic forum established between Ministers and Iwi Leaders to drive the future of Whanau Ora forward. The Iwi Chairs represented on the group include: Naida Glavish, Rāhui Papa, Sir Mark Solomon, Richard Steedman and Selwyn Parata.

"What the Auditor General and Productivity Commission reports both tell us is that obviously one side of the ledger needs to lift its game" said Mr Tau.

"Whanau, hapu and iwi have no issues in understanding what it means to be born of whānau; to inherit a whakapapa (genealogy) and kinship group which provide every foundation for our families to be successful".

"It is profoundly disappointing to learn that it would appear not all our Crown partners share that same understanding. At the nub of the issue is the finding that some organs of the Kawanatanga are playing catch-up with what is even meant by Whānau Ora, let alone believing in the opportunity of whānau-led solutions".

"Iwi Chairs have signed up to the concept of a Whānau Ora Iwi-Crown Partnership Group to encourage and require greater accountability from Ministers in promoting whānau wellbeing" said Mr Tau.

"The great thing about both reports is the conclusion that investing in Whānau Ora holds the promise of achieving enduring solutions to some of the seemingly intractable issues that Government has grappled with for too long".

"Of course we are disappointed by the findings which report on Phase One, noting the delays in the system being able to directly track progress to outcomes and the disproportionate levels of funding being taken up by Te Puni Kokiri in administration rather than directly through to whānau".

"If anything, those findings confirm for us that the right decision was made in establishing the Commissioning Agencies, to achieve a tighter transaction between the Commissioning Agency and direct resourcing for whānau-centred approaches.

"I want to say it loud and proud - We have engaged with a clear understanding of intent. We know that success is most likely when whānau are enabled to define their own aspirations; when a collective approach is taken - whai oranga mō tō whānau".

"We are determined to continue to encourage government to believe in the art of the possible in devolving funding and decision-making rights and responsibilities to whanau - and that extends across DHBs, CYFS, Education, Economic development and in fact every arm of government".

"It is obvious that there is still a way to go in realising the aspirations of whānau as expressed in the Whanau Ora approach. We’re in it for the long haul"

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