National Nati news / Politics / Business
Written by:
27 Jun 2016

Minister of Finance, Bill English led a discussion at Te Tini o Porou this month looking at the impact of the May Budget on social policy. An extra $41million allocation in Budget 2016 for Whanau Ora means Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou can continue to provide its diverse range of Whanau Oranga services.   While the additional funding brings help to a further 2500 whanau across the country - it comes with a warning.

Failure will not be rewarded, was the Deputy Prime Minister’s blunt message to Gisborne social agencies, adding “we will pay what it takes if you can show me that it works.”

“If all the strategies I’ve read turned into anything that mattered, there’d be no problems left in the world.  They make perfectly constructed booklets.  The problem is our customers don’t read the booklets - they are still busy having complicated, difficult lives,” Mr English said.

CE of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Herewini Te Koha, said Whanau Ora is a very small part of the overall spend in the district but like the wider investment it’s got to prove that what’s it’s doing is worth pursuing.  

“We think there is high potential for Whanau Ora as an approach and for the willingness of the local public sector leaders to come on board. I think all of the elements are coming together really well.”

The Government has set aside $200 million for children at risk and a further $50 million to cut long-term welfare dependence.

“We can look at the kids born into our highest risk households and a significant proportion of them are ‘million dollar kids’.  We look at what happens to them over the next 35 years and at age 35 they are in the middle of their 15-year sentence.  They are expensive.  And when you see that picture - and you think why don’t we do a little bit more now,” the Minister said

Prisoner Re-integration gets a $20 million top-up in the May Budget - providing support for offenders coming back into their communities.

“Make sure when the prisoner comes out they’ve got housing, they’ve got the prospects of a job - and guess what?  60% of them won’t reoffend, said Mr English.

As the root cause of many social issues, the Minister said curbing abuse in the home is a top priority for government with $208 million set aside to address family violence.

“Another group of long-termers is the group that cycles through the mental health, prison and beneficiary system.  Or the young person with mental illness - they’re just wandering round on a benefit - because we don’t do anything much with the 23-year-old with mild schizophrenia and depression - they are in our system until they are 65 - they will be there for 40 years.”

The Minister said $12 million has been tagged specifically for getting teenagers early access to mental health services and the Youth Service will be now be able to assist 18 and 19-year olds through a $61million increase in funding.

Chairman of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Selwyn Parata, said it was, on the whole, a positive budget from a Ngati Porou point of view.  

“There’s lots of opportunity for Ngati Porou to collaborate with government departments and extract resources to raise family incomes at home.  Basically, healthy homes, healthy families and wellbeing.”

Budget Bytes

$72 million Whanau Ora services (up by $40 m)
$61 million Youth Service to 18 - 19-year olds
$20 million Prisoners coming home

Budget Megabytes

$4 million Micro-financing for whānau
$5 million Māori Electoral participation
$12 million Te Matawai
$4 million New Zealand War commemorations
$12.6 million Maori Housing Network
$36 million Warm Homes

To view the full Budget 2016 breakdown click here

You may also like to read "Positives for Ngati Porou in the 2016 Budget"

To view the presentaion "Investing in a Growing Economy" by Minister of Finance, Hon. Bill English click here 

Add new comment