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.