Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mike Butler: Whanau Ora how bizarre

Whanu Ora, promoted as a one-stop welfare shop for part-Maori families, has never been far from news headlines, mainly courtesy of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. This week’s latest unwelcome publicity concerned a $60,000 grant to a rugby club that Peters called just another example of “bro-ocracy”.

Peters said the $60,000 grant was to the Rahui Rugby and Sports Club, based in Otaki "to research the vaguely-termed 'whanau connectedness' and 'resilience' in the community." He said that “in reality this is just another example of 'bro-ocracy' where taxpayers' cash is divided up amongst the bros for nonsensical purposes."

Recapping embarrassing Whanau Ora stories, police said on May 10 that the Mongrel Mob gang in Dunedin received $45,000 from a “whanau integration, innovation and engagement fund”, and $2000 for a community garden.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, who guides the scheme, defended the grants, saying “I don’t object to any vulnerable family receiving Whanau Ora support, because that’s what the money is for.”

On April 4, Peters said that since Maori Party MPs were going around marae saying the scheme is for Maori only, the scheme was separatist. On February 8, he drew attention to the whanau integration, innovation and engagement scheme that had accepted more than 200 applications to organise family reunions.

Whanau Ora is a Maori Party initiative, and was born out of that party’s 2008 confidence and supply deal with the National Party. It was 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.

It is believed to have been developed for Maori families, but Prime Minister John Key has said it will be used by any family that needs its services.

Family reunions, funding for mobsters, and rugby club research is more bizarre that the outcomes predicted for this poorly designed feel-good plan which looked, at its inception, like a quantum leap in funding for the dozens of part-Maori hand-holding social service organisations operating throughout the nation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike, I'm sure the Mongrel Mob will use the 2k for the community garden wisely...how can you be so cynical?

And speaking of Mr. Peters, do you remember 1990? Winston was Minister of (??) in the Nats and wrote off a cool 100 million in Maori loans? Am I recalling this correctly? Nothing much has changed IMHO

Equality of outcome (not opportunity) for all groups is the defining criteria of our age, so this is just another example.

Fyi - I'm from Hastings myself, but am a Jafa now,
Cheers Stuart L