May 16, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Is John Key taking a softer approach to the Whanau Ora policy?

2 min read

Recent reports suggest that PM John Key is beginning to take a softer approach the current tenstions surrounding the recent Whanau Ora policy. Waatea News reports that the “Prime Minister is reassuring Maori who fear his demand Whanau Ora be available for all could dilute the new welfare delivery model.”

Details of the policy continue to be kept under wraps while Cabinet considers the recommendations of the Whanau Ora Taskforce led by Sir Mason Durie, but John Key told Parliament last week it would be available to all families who are struggling.

However, now the PM is saying that it is designed around a Maori kaupapa, and like kohanga reo it is likely to be largely used by Maori.

In the end it might suit some families in the way that kohanga reo and kuras are welcome to any individual. Its largely Maori kids that go there but not exclusively, Mr Key says.

He says whanau ora means the state will trust poor families to take greater responsibility for their own care.

Other members of the Whanau Ora taskforce include, Rob Cooper, CEO of Ngati Hine Health Trust, Suzanne Snively, partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Di Gennell, Director of Amokura Family Violence Prevention, Nancy Tuaine, manager of the Wanganui River Maori Trust Board and Linda Grennell, former national president of the Maori Women’s Welfare League.

The specific job of the taskforce will be to develop a policy framework for a new method of government interaction with M?ori service providers to meet the social service needs of whanau. The taskforce is expected to report to Minister Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Social Development early next year.

Labour on the other hand is arguing that the secrecy around the Government’s Whanau Ora policy is a sign “that ministers couldn’t agree about it, Labour’s social development spokeswoman Annette King said today. To view this perspective check out the video below (kia ora to Te Karere!):

We at are passionate about Kaupapa Maori methodologies and are looking forward to how this policy will be implemented, as there is no doubt there is an urgent need for it!

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