Whanau Ora fizzer

Written By: - Date published: 1:36 pm, May 6th, 2010 - 25 comments
Categories: maori party, welfare - Tags: ,

The budget for Whanau Ora, which has been billed as a magical, ineffable revolution in social welfare will be just $33 million a year.

What a joke. Whanau Ora’s budget will be less than twice that of that other great fizzer, the John Key Memorial Cycleway.

I predict it will have about twice the effect as well.

Nearly all the money will come from scrapping Labour’s Pathways to Partnership programme which funded local community groups – a solid, well-researched and well-supported policy replaced by something that no-one is able to articulate.

Fully 15% of the budget for Whanau Ora will go on trying to work out if it is having any effect. Plenty of ‘back office’ jobs for the politically favoured TPK at the expense of front line services.

Meanwhile, National is preparing to put up GST by 20% and the Maori Party will be voting for it.

25 comments on “Whanau Ora fizzer”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    When I read the first headlines I though Oh yeah, then I saw the detail- over 4 years!

    Who knew ‘navigators’ could be so cheap.

    This is a version of the Bike Trails for brown faces

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Is there a method to Nats cum Maori Party silliness?
      Hmm. Something makes it seem like it’s the kind of logic of the Nats rabid right pushers.
      Like handing out drugs … a wee bit at first, lead them into it, try to get them hooked by dribbling a bit here and there, keep them wanting more of it and hanging on to you.
      I can’t believe the MP have been crowing about this. Poultry excreta comes to mind.
      These so-called policy wins are turning out to be really shallow and awfully hollow.
      I’m not fooled.

    • Joe Bloggs 1.2

      Here’s a completely different set of numbers:

      On top of the $134.3m over four years is an extra “estimated $100 million a year once existing contracts between government agencies and the chosen providers are pooled together into broad Whanau Ora contracts”


      So Whanau Ora will get roughly $500 million over four years

      • lprent 1.2.1

        The interesting part about policy is in the detail. Now if we have a look at the current details of the Whanau Ora, ignoring the speculation and spinsters (ie vapourware), what we see is $134 million being splurged on a back office function with no discernible requirements for outcomes at the front-end.

        Has all of the hallmarks of being a rather large political bribe at present.

  2. Alexandra 2

    Radio reported $33 m. Other reports that its $134 million???

    • Lew 2.1

      One is per-year, one is over the initial four years budgeted. THough the release also notes that the latter figure will increase.

      To me, this officially makes Whanau Ora a pilot, not any sort of full-scale welfare provision scheme. I note also that $20m is to be spent on monitoring the scheme. So on the up-side, we might actually get some useful data out the other end.


      • Neil 2.1.1

        I agree, it’s good it’s rolled out slowly. I’m not 100% convinced about every aspect of it but it’s worth a try given the really bad situations some maori family find themselves in which have been very difficult to change.

        • Marty G

          If I came to you and told you I had a way to solve problems in Maori families but I couldn’t tell you what it was and I didn’t have any proof and I wanted tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money would you say “it’s worth a try given the really bad situations some maori family find themselves in which have been very difficult to change.”?

          Because.. because if the answer is yes, I have this idea…

          • Lew

            Do you have lots of welfare policy experience, deep and broad networks in the communities you seek to work with, a history of robust advocacy for those communities, a clear electoral mandate to enact policy changes of this sort, and an insider’s understanding of the issues in play, and why the current systems are failing Māori?

            Because … if the answer is yes, then perhaps you have a point…


      • Armchair Critic 2.1.2

        I thought things like $20m on monitoring was the kind of back-office stuff that National were determined to eliminate.
        Genuine questions – How much is spent on monitoring the existing programmes where the funding is coming from? Is this effectively a cut?

  3. Tigger 3

    So disappointed for people who would benefit from real help. Instead of cocrete assistance they get a shonky, underfunded and confused mess.

  4. I wonder if the amount cut from Pathways to partnerships will exceed the Whanau Ora money. A quick search of Hansard suggests that the PTP fund is $461m. I do not know over what period it is for but presume that it is for 4 years.

    I am sure that all that will happen is that it will be rebadged and the money reduced.

    Proof is from this recent exchange in the house.

    “Hon Annette King: Does she agree that Whānau Ora is a cross-sectoral, whole-of-Government concept that uses a structured process of Government agencies and community organisations working together to achieve better education, housing, health, and social outcomes for families, in which both Government and non-governmental and community organisations will participate; if not, why not?


    Hon Annette King: Is she aware that the description I have just given is that of the Strengthening Families programme, which has existed for 6 years, has been evaluated, and is operating effectively? Why are we going through the pretence of saying to New Zealanders that the Government has a new programme for vulnerable families, and wasting time and money pulling the wool over their eyes?

    Hon PAULA BENNETT: We have to wonder why Labour has an issue with Māori coming up with solutions to their own problems .”

  5. Rob M 5

    O Whanau my Whanau! our vengeful trip is done;
    The waka has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady Key, the vessel glib and blaring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Whanau lies,
    Lacking any cred.

    Walt Whititane

    Whanganui Poet

  6. Clipbox 6

    I can’t find a source for the raising of GST to 20%, where did you hear that from?

  7. Clipbox 7

    Oh woops..

  8. Hilary 8

    Pity about the demise of Pathways to Partnership though. That would have funded community groups already providing valuable services in the community. The Whanau Ora funding should have come out of another source such as the money going to private schools or to those scholarships for kids to be bussed out of their communities to posh private schools.

  9. Clarke 9

    It’s interesting that of the $134 million, it appears that 100% is going into back-office stuff like training, capability development and the like – exactly 0% seems to be appearing on the front line.

    What happened to that empty NACT rhetoric of “moving inefficient spending from the back office to the front line”? It must be that National’s cynical and trite calculus of efficiency doesn’t apply when it comes to paying off political allies.

  10. Mr Key said Whanau Ora would address fragmentation in the provision of health and social services.

    “I think of it as the five cars up a driveway problem, a situation where multiple government agencies are working with individual members of the family, but they’re not doing it together and the family isn’t having much say …”

    Whanau Ora was a recognisably Maori approach, but would be open to families of all ethnicities.


    sweet…so the Whanau Ora solution is 5 people in the one car up the driveway ? Hope its not 4 to hold the family down and one to chant and pour water in their eyes ? With that sort of budget though it might have to be 5 bicycles up the driveway, which ties in nicely with the cycleway and pasifikan obesity…a HUGE problem.

    Fart smella that Key ! Slicker than an oil spill and equally as damaging.

    Seriously though. i’m prepared to give it a chance and let the results speak for themselves. Interestingly, Tariana is hoping to bring most social services under Whanau Ora with a billion dollar budget within the next 4 years.

    Makes it sound like shes trading horses before the election eh ? If it works though i dont see why Labour couldn’t support it and make signals to that effect now.

    captcha : improvements

  11. Joe Bloggs 11

    With $500million going to Whanau Ora over 4 years it looks like Whanau Ora might not be the last cab off the rank but will be the first limousine – profound hat tip to Hone Harawira



  12. Alexandra 12

    I dont have a problem with the philosophy of whanau ora, but that is that is all we have to go with. Turia is unable to tell us how it will operate because that hasnt been determined. The distribution of the money before developing how the money will be spent is arse about face. There are far too many unanswered questions for my liking.

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