Whanau Ora is, apparently, about giving a big pile of money to private groups under so-called ‘high trust’ contracts and expecting them to get on and deliver a whole range of public services that have previously been the responsibility of accountable government departments, or, more likely, clip the ticket as the actual services are still delivered by the State.
What could go wrong?
Quite a bit suggests this story.
Te Runanga O Te Ati Awa Ki Whakarongotai is just the kind of body that the Government intends to hand over big cheques to. It has been contracted to provide some basic health services to its community – cooking classes, B4School health checks, breastfeeding and parenting groups, an open clinic.
Problem is a faction got in charge of the runanga that appears to have been less than responsible. It directed health money to propping up an ailing cafe and siphoned off more into a term deposit. Over half a million dollars of our money has gone AWOL.
Worryingly, when others in the runanga sought government intervention to stop this malfeasance the minister (presumably that layabout Paula Bennett or all flash, no substance Tony Ryall) did nothing.
None of this bodes well for Whanau Ora. We’ve seen that corruption is too frequent when public money is dished over to unaccountable, unprofessional organisations. Worse, this National government is too lazy to act when corruption is brought to its attention.
Whanau Ora is going to be just one more mess that the next 6th Labour Government will need to clean up after the next election.