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National Ltd™Plays The Race Card

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, May 7th, 2015 - 16 comments
Categories: benefits, Dirty Politics, Maori Issues, maori party, national, Politics, privatisation, Privatisation, public services, welfare - Tags:

Unable to provide facts, figures, logic, or documentary evidence to defend its massive programme of privatisation by stealth, National Ltd™ has pulled out the race card.

The stalking horse for the privatisation of the provision of social welfare, Whānau Ora, was eviscerated this week by the Auditor General. In short, the Auditor General found that no one in National Ltd™, the Māori Party, Te Puni Kōkiri, or any other of its apologists is able to detail exactly what Whānau Ora is supposed to be doing, provide evidence of its outcomes, or explain why up to 33% of the money supposed to be going to Māori families is being paid in “administration” (read: salaries etc). In other words, Whānau Ora is a shambles. And dodgy.

Sold to the public as “Māori doing good things for Māori “, the real rationale for Whānau Ora is to provide a narrative for National Ltd™ to commence the dismantling of the provision of social welfare by government. For this reason, it is essential to the roll out this ideology that Whānau Ora be seen to be achieving something positive. From this position, it would make it much easier to leverage the introduction of a “voucher sytem”, the preliminary stages of which are expected by some to be announced in the up-coming budget. Playing the race card at this stage highlights just how desperate National Ltd™ is to silence the growing criticism and sense of unrest about what’s actually going on.

The Māori Party is desperate too. Whānau Ora is, in effect, its free-pass into government. Whānau Ora is its flagship policy and the bulk of the contracts have gone into its constituencies. More effort appears to have been made in securing support for the Party rather than ensuring any positive outcomes for Māori families. The result is that the providers represent a ramshackle cobbled-together collection of unaccountable, unqualified and rapacious entities led by very well-paid spokesholes. They are also desperate to stay on the gravy-train.

If its serious about exposing how Whānau Ora is being used to implement more of National Ltd™ privatisation agenda, Labour will have to play this one carefully. Its an unfortunate fact that many of the providers do genuinely believe Whānau Ora is actually about providing better social welfare outcomes than government can. The Māori Party has been sly in its approach to Whānau Ora by keeping the residual resentment left over from Labour’s seabed and foreshore betrayal simmering.

16 comments on “National Ltd™Plays The Race Card ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    The Auditor General Lyn Provost has become Bill English’s side kick.

    Gone are days when they looked at programs rigorously ( like when labour was in government). No now it reads like the CEO has approved the final text.
    eg this result from IRD:

    We found that Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme has provided clear direction, and supported clear and effective decisions. Strengths of Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme include a comprehensive and clear governance structure, an established methodology, and an advanced approach to managing risks…

    Now they go with the program and produce heaps of waffle. Its ridiculous that there is no in depth investigation into a single Whanau Ora provider, or even 15 as should be done. Or where the money in Te Puni Kokiri is swallowed up in administration.

    All they give is one or two anecdotes about individuals ‘ feeling better’.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.1

      “We found that Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme has provided clear direction, and supported clear and effective decisions. Strengths of Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme include a comprehensive and clear governance structure, an established methodology, and an advanced approach to managing risks…”

      That’s exactly the sort of meaningless garbage I hate seeing all over the place. At my uni, we get emails full of it from the deans and vice-chancellors, as well as from the Australian Research Council. It always makes me think they have an artificial lack of intelligence program to churn it out.

      As for Whanau Ora, I can’t see that it has any clear objectives except keeping the MP on side. That could be a consequence of my pakeha brain, but I’d need to be convinced.

  2. Bill 2

    Unfortunate choice of image, given that it kind of compounds, in its own but different way, the very trait the post is criticising . Just sayin’….

    • BLiP 2.1

      Hmmm . . . fair nuff. My thinking was the image represents how National Ltd™ is using an ostensible support for matters Māori as a Trojan Horse to set the likes of Merrill Lynch loose on our social welfare system. But, yeah, okay, perhaps another image might be better. Thanks for the feedback.

    • freedom 2.2

      It’s an image that deftly illustrates and ultimately expands upon the post’s message.
      I think Blip covers it well in his response, with valid and clear reasoning.
      It is probably the most apt use of that particular image I have seen to date.

      Bill, I am interested in why you think it is an “unfortunate choice” ?

      • freedom 2.2.1

        for those who wonder what the previous image was, which the above discussion mentions

      • Bill 2.2.2

        As was remarked the only(?) other time that image was used, it’s less than sensitive towards Maori culture. I get why blip used it. But sometimes things say stuff you didn’t intend. Anyways. I’m kinda surprised it’s still in the images cache given previous discussions..

        • freedom

          I agree it can be interpreted as being insensitive, but if art is asked to be passive then what is the point of it? The JK image is a well presented highly artistic expression of a complex concept. Self-censorship of such thoughts helps no one.

          In our daily lives there are far more grievous examples of insensitivities involving Maori culture. Tourist traps, consumer products and even media across New Zealand, indeed across the world, are overflowing with examples. Especially the increasing volumes of foreign made goods lazily festooned with cultural references to Maoridom where their only link to NZ is they are [mostly] manufactured with NZ materials.

          I find the JK image conceptually stimulating at an artistic level (possibly for the very reasons many might find it insensitive). But that image is not alone. One other artwork in particular springs to mind. It is the wood carving of an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet with full face Tā moko. A combination, which when its base elements are honestly considered, must surely be deemed equally insensitive to the culture it draws from. Yet this object, and the numerous images of it, are widely shared acknowledged and celebrated for its conceptual complexity and artistic presentation. The conceptual origin of the two images is disturbingly close yet the reaction to them almost universally opposite.

          I sometimes wonder at these inconsistencies is all.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Labour’s support for Maori has to be based on a recognition of the need to right the wrongs of the past and a recognition of a class based analysis that places Maori firmly in the poor, the unemployed and the disadvantaged.

    It cannot be based on supporting a self-serving brown Iwi aristocracy that is only interested in enriching itself at the taxpayers expense.

  4. this bit is disturbing/evidence of corruption..

    ‘and the bulk of the contracts have gone into its constituencies’.

    ..in fact it shrieks of it…

  5. Charles 5

    “…no one in National Ltd™, the Māori Party, Te Puni Kōkiri, or any other of its apologists is able to detail exactly what Whānau Ora is supposed to be doing, provide evidence of its outcomes, or explain why up to 33% of the money supposed to be going to Māori families is being paid in “administration” (read: salaries etc). In other words, Whānau Ora is a shambles. And dodgy….”

    You can find this information online in about two minutes. It may be highly ironic that National are “using the race card” but they might be co-incidentally right (at least theoretically), out of convenience to their ends of course. If the original document is read, the answers to questions of “Where are the measurable outcomes?” are answered for everyone except those who don’t want to see. How do you measure mauri with an accounting system… hmmm. Let me see….

    If we are to believe Whanau Ora was a scam, it would suggest that Tariana and Pita could foresee the foreshore and seabed issue before it happened, judged her (at the time marginal) support before it was needed, pick the outcome before it was known, silence any critic that would have to accompany a hypothetically cynical (and extensively detailed) use of her own culture for personal gain, still retain enough support to move forward, and have known in advance about National’s current slim majority now. She’s may not be Snow White, but she isn’t a crystal ball gazer or a wizard, either. If they wanted to scam the government (“taxpayer”), there are easier and quieter ways to do it.

    • Murray Rawshark 5.1

      I don’t think it requires that degree of foresight at all and I don’t think Tariana Turia would have set it up as a scam. I think the MP is extremely opportunist and took what they could get. Just as with well off pakeha and the old boys’ network, nepotism comes naturally to some Maori leaders.

  6. millsy 6

    Whanau Ora is also about iwi leaders sending in ‘aunties’ to micromanage the lives of the poor

  7. Chris 7

    Totally predictable outcome. If government agencies did their job properly (and the government wanted government agencies to do their job properly) there would have been no perceived need for Whānau Ora. It was a response to this failure which was at the same time admirable and ill-conceived. It was admirable because Tariana Turia believed, correctly, that something needed to be done. It was ill-conceived because it plays straight into Nact’s neo-liberal privatisation agenda. Key et al would’ve thought their Christmases had all come at once because they were getting support from the Maori Party in exchange for something that suited their agenda and which they would’ve loved to have done anyway. Nact doesn’t give a stuff about what Tariana Turia wanted to see Whānau Ora achieve. Success of Whānau Ora for Nact is keeping it alive as a model for pushing delivery of more core services further away from government and further into the hands of hapless community groups that don’t have a political bone in their body.

  8. SouthDeezNuts 8

    The neoliberal doctrines that inform new managerialist practices, procedures, and organisational structures are deeply embedded in Whanau Ora. For example, the lines of accountability apparent in its framework sit in sync with Kenny’s (2011) conceptualisation of performativity. Here, the vaguely defined services Whaunau Ora provides lie within a system of accountability that is more concerned with reporting to the funding source of the programme, the state, rather than to the communities the programme is designed to work with. Moreover, due to Whanau Ora’s devolutionary approach to welfare that shifts the responsibility of its provision from the state to private interest groups, its policy advice and management components have been disconnected from public service norms of professionalism, transparency and accountability

    Such a fundamentally flawed program is simply unable to effectively reduce Maori overrepresentation in Aotearoa New Zealand’s social deprivation indices. Whanau Ora’s claims that it offers a viable solution the marginalisation of Maori is completely farcical as it cannot even clearly define the social problems it intends to ameliorate, the expected outcomes of its model, nor provide any empirical data that supports any of its grand claims. This is nothing new, as this inability to clearly define its service parameters dates back to the initial report released by the Whanau Ora Taskforce back in 2009.

    It’s a total fucking shambles.

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