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Whanau Ora defined-ish

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, February 18th, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: public services, welfare - Tags:

BLiP gives the best definition of the Key Government’s billion dollar Whanau Ora plan to date: “Whanau Ora = privatisation of social services.”

Yeah, it does. But I’m still struggling to understand what social services. Will Whanau Ora providers be running hospitals and clinics? Will they be running schools? Will they be making dole and super payments? Will they be administering home support? Will they be intervening to protect kids in place of CYFS? I know government already pays for private charities to deliver a whole range of services but this seems like this is specifically taking money out of existing programmes and handing it over to someone else to do heavens knows what.

A commenter, Descendent of Smith, puts this all in some greater context:

“In the 80’s Tariana had a clear view that Iwi / hapu should deliver social services and benefit payments so I’m not sure why anyone is surprised that she should continue to pursue this.

The difficulties I see now are the same as I saw then:
1. The expertise and competence of those delivering the services around areas such as financial management
2. How do people opt in from one service to the next
3. It seems nice to have the ability to pay assistance to people but how does the relationship change when you have to say no to someone and have you really thought about that
4. The need for the government agency providing the funding to actively support the organization delivering it is not enough to hand the funding over and leave them to fail.

Older and maybe wiser now I would also add based on my observation of the devolution of services in Health and other areas:

1. How to deliver without having endless meetings and no delivery
2. How to avoid duplication of services, particularly in small communities
3. How to manage salary payments / perks for executives in the organisations
4. How to avoid nepotism are they private sector where no one cares about it or public sector where different standards apply?
5. Who is accountable for success / failure funding agency, minister?
6. Do middle class Maori really want to deal with the people at the bottom the gang members, the drug addicts and so on? My general impression of Maori leadership is that they don’t. They would much rather put their effort into helping those on the way up. Many have got out of those environments and don’t wish to return.

No doubt for some places and some Iwi / hapu things will work out well, for others they won’t. It’s certainly worth trying some alternatives and there is potential for both success and failure.

There needs to be a lot more detail about how it will work before I’m convinced however.”

I suspect dodgy organisations like Mission Australia are also keen to get a slice of this government money paying for public services to help line their private coffers. And I suspect that is what this is really all about.

18 comments on “Whanau Ora defined-ish ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    Just in the last 48 hours, there have been several different versions of Whanau Ora, depending on whether it’s John Key talking to Maori media, or John Key talking to the press gallery, or Tariana Turia in Parliament, or Tariana Turia speaking on Maori radio, or Paula Bennett blathering, or …

    … oh, here’s another one, from Bill English. Whanau Ora is driven by the Minister of Finance, because it’s designed to “eliminate” (i.e. cut) spending on social services:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/b/f/7/49HansQ_20100217_00000002-2-Government-Expenditure-Value-for-Money.htm

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      because it’s designed to “eliminate’ (i.e. cut) spending on social services:

      That’s a joke. As we’ve seen over the last 3 decades privatisation makes things more expensive.

  2. Whatever Turias intentions of it were, it is now going to be an overhaul and re branding exercise of existing services and providers done under one umbrella organisation. Your one stop shop for all things unsocially serviceable by the current government.

    Truth is, there are a lot of shit community organisations with creative accountants and poorly trained staff/volunteers out there sucking hard on the public tit and wasting taxpayer money overselling and underdelivering services to their respective “communities”

    But on the other hand there are a lot of excellent community organisations out there with caring, quality staff delivering vital services to their respective “communities” struggling to adequately resource their programs because the dollar gets spread too thin across the cultural divide.

    So it looks like they’re just gonna move the funding go round to a different park and get players to re-apply for their spots on the team. Of course it’s gonna cost a shitload to kit out the players and upgrade the park. And i bet the powers that be know just the people to do it, matter of fact i bet they got some rellies and mates who do just this sort of thing.

    I’m pickin they’ll go for a one size fits all uniform that’ll be ill fitting and badly manufactured and the park gates won’t be wide enough to accomodate the bottleneck of punters lining up. Chances are it’ll be the same ol players playing the same ol game though with a few cosmetic rule changes that the refs will struggle to interpret.

    It’s basically as good an excuse as any to take the knife to the public service but it’ll probably be community organisations that get cut first. There’s gonna be blood in the streets i tells ya !

  3. PK 3

    “How to avoid nepotism are they private sector where no one cares about it or public sector where different standards apply?”

    I thought this was institutionally acceptable in Turia’s view? The whole system is underpinned by ethnic membership (race is basically a large extended family), so it isn’t a big step to also favour close relatives.

  4. Polynesians have always practised a form of eugenics. Survival of the fittest makes for a stronger gene pool.

    With regards to awarding of contracts and positions, it aint so different from backhanding business mates and lobby groups into favourable positions based on campaign contributions and political allegiances or handing out cushy board directorships and committee memberships to favourable allies. As long they’re the best qualified from the pool of applicants then what does it matter ?

    It’s not a race/ethnic based issue you’re raising, it’s a standard human practise thats “institutionally acceptable” across the board. Polynesians aren’t so evolved as to be blind to the fact that some of us are born more equal than others. So please, let’s not go down the ‘system is underpinned by ethnic membership’ road cos you wouldn’t want a mirror held up to your “race ” on that front now either…would you ?

  5. PK 5

    “It’s not a race/ethnic based issue you’re raising, it’s a standard human practise thats “institutionally acceptable’ across the board. Polynesians aren’t so evolved as to be blind to the fact that some of us are born more equal than others. So please, let’s not go down the ‘system is underpinned by ethnic membership’ road cos you wouldn’t want a mirror held up to your “race ‘ on that front now either would you ?”

    That’s the whole point of having arms length contracting, open tenders and anti-discrimination legislation – to try and create neutral procedures which combat this human tendency. Turia’s position is that it should simply be embraced.

    If that’s the case and ethnic favouritism is explicitly accepted then why not remove other anti-discrimination legislation? Simply allow freedom of association as this seems more consistent with what she wants.

  6. PK 6

    ***Polynesians have always practised a form of eugenics. Survival of the fittest makes for a stronger gene pool.***

    Well of course, that has been the default setting in every society throughout history. It’s no longer the case since contraception as the most educated women tend to have fewer children. So over time the average cognitive ability in populations is heading down!

  7. PK 8

    “This reversal segments the US and UK, dissolves empathy, and heightens intolerance towards the actions of those left behind by the globalized post-industrial economy. ”

    Well, he’s right in that through globalisation low skill manufacturing jobs have gone overseas while at the same time low skill immigration has placed downward pressure on wages in the UK and US. Incredibly, in the US they still have high low skill immigration despite high unemployment.

  8. The Chairman 9

    Indeed, PK.

    I thought the following was also relevant:

    Rodger lists the UK’s Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and the state’s threats to withdraw welfare benefits from those who commit anti-social acts as examples of this type of response. The trend in these reactions is one of “defining deviance up’, bringing acts that are not necessarily criminal into the grip of criminal justice.

  9. “That’s the whole point of having arms length contracting, open tenders and anti-discrimination legislation to try and create neutral procedures which combat this human tendency”

    Its a pity we dont live in an enlightened society where what you suggest actually makes a difference and I don’t know that it is Turia’s position, how is it that you do ?

    The simple fact is, eurocentric policies and programs in most sectors, health, education, justice, employment etc etc, have failed polynesians. So how about adequately resourcing us to institute our own initiatives and we’ll start taking ownership of the problems and provide our own solutions rather than just feeding us the crumbs from the table and expecting miracles ?

    • Bill 10.1

      You’ll wind up in the same shit because the white male middle class eurocentricity of policies and programmes is only a part of the story. An important part of the story that contributes to outcomes…but not the defining part.

      What defines and shapes outcomes are the dynamics of the market, not human tendencies.

      It’s not as if policies and programmes do not systematically fail identifiable sectors of societies that have no Polynesian community is it? And it’s not as if policies and programmes do not systematically fail identifiable sectors of societies that are wholly Polynesian either.

      And the one commonality is the existence of the market and the demands it makes.

      The make up of the societies can vary. Cultures can be immensely different. But all are subjected to the same uniform market forces time after time and in place after place. And the results are depressingly similar in all instances.

      • pollywog 10.1.1

        Sorry Bill but to me, the market is where we go to on saturday mornings to get some down home produce and maybe a choice t shirt. I don’t know what ‘market’ you’re speaking of and i’m pretty sure most polynesians don’t either.

        Perhaps you could break down some of these forces and demands it makes in a culturally relevent way to explain how it leads to the creation of a virtual polynesian underclass ?

  10. The Chairman 11

    Criminalising The Voluntary Sector

    http://tinyurl.com/yg6qt4j

  11. The Chairman 12

    Sorry, broken link (above).

    Try this one:

    http://tinyurl.com/yg9cuyx

  12. PK 13

    “The simple fact is, eurocentric policies and programs in most sectors, health, education, justice, employment etc etc, have failed polynesians. So how about adequately resourcing us to institute our own initiatives and we’ll start taking ownership of the problems and provide our own solutions rather than just feeding us the crumbs from the table and expecting miracles ?”

    Then why do they continue coming to NZ? That makes no sense. Clearly people appreciate the eurocentric policies and systems otherwise that would not be the case. By your logic the polynesian policies and programmes have failed polynesians too.

  13. Simple answer is, we come here because we’ve always come here. Pressure on land and resources for small island populations dictate that a percentage will always have to migrate. It’s pretty much why we got around to navigating the pacific in the first place. Have you read the book “future eaters” with regards to Rapa Nui (easter island) ?

    I mean shit, why did original euro-colonial settlers come here in the first place either and keep coming ? Did their systems and policies fail them… i’d say yes, as witnessed by all them saffas (white sth africans) migrating here recently after their overtly racist systems and policies turned to shit. Lets not pretend ours arent as biased, just less overt and obvious. Are you aware of Samoan early history regarding the fight for independence and NZ’s disgusting role in it ?

    NZers seem blind to the fact that what we have here is a social experiment acting as competition between native polynesian culture and transplanted euro culture. Forget the “racial” shit of maori and pakeha some have been pushing for ages. It’s a distraction to avoid the culture clash that even Maori have bought into.

    Cultural based initiatives work for those of that culture. Why else would market forces dictate better outcomes for eurocentrists ?..because they designed the market to suit their culture and shrouded it in their language to protect it.

    So how about empowering us fully and let us self determine what’s best for us or risk the consequences. That whole polynesian christian based humility thing is only going to hold as long as the current elders hold on to life. The next generation aren’t likely to be so forgiving and the market won’t/cant indoctrinate us all.

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