Thousands spent on food, chefs, and family travel is the latest headline generated in the name of Whanau Ora, a Maori Party initiative. The scheme is designed to provide comprehensive support for vulnerable families, bringing together all the agencies that deliver different forms of welfare, like housing and benefits, as well as justice, the police and truancy services. The Dominion Post obtained under the Official Information Act details of the 25 most recent successful applicants of the Whanau Integration Innovation and Engagement Fund.
A $5000 contract agreed with a whanau trust in Hawke’s Bay included: $400 for venue hire, $1000 for food, $1200 for resources, $600 for a cook, $500 for administration fee, $300 for travel, and $1000 for facilitators.
Earlier, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told TVNZ's Q+A programme on Sunday that the Maori Party was telling people on marae the policy was being designed for Maori people. Prime Minister John Key has said it could be used by any family that needs its services.
Whether it is a for-Maori-only programme may be easily tested. If you are Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Pacific Island, Nigerian, Somali, Thai, Japanese, or Caucasian New Zealander, either put in an application for a contract to Te Puni Kokiri, or seek advice from your local National Party MP.
Whanau Ora was a poorly thought-out National-Maori Party deal slipped into law based on recommendations from a stacked review panel. Watch out! Another stacked review panel resulting from the National-Maori Party deal will serve up recommendations into the rules that determine who exercises power and how.