Whānau Ora budget announcement welcomed in the South Island

Norman Dewes, the Board Chair of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, is delighted with the significant growth in investment for Whānau Ora announced today.

“Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in the commissioning approach that Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has taken in responding to the complex and diverse needs and aspirations of all our whānau,” says Mr Dewes.

“Te Pūtahitanga reaches right into the hearts of our communities to support whānau to be strong enough to achieve the aspirations they hold for them and their children after them,” says Mr Dewes. 

“The challenges of life are relentless – inadequate housing, alcohol and drug addiction, cultural disconnection, family harm, children in need.   We believe that all our whānau deserve the right to live with pride, to enjoy a state of wellbeing, to be self-determining.   Whānau Ora enables whānau that opportunity to be the best they can be.”

“The nine iwi of Te Waipounamu have invested in Te Pūtahitanga as providing a solid foundation for our whānau to live by their own means,” says Molly Luke, Chairperson of Te Taumata, the iwi body which has established Te Pūtahitanga.

“We are proud that in backing the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, the iwi of the South are confident that local solutions can address some of the more enduring issues facing our families,” says Mrs Luke. 

“The new funding will enable us to respond to the significant momentum we have experienced as our entity has evolved. Over the last year we have grown from ten commissioned initiatives to 51; from no Whānau Ora Navigators to 32 across the South Island, and a massive injection of funding confidence. We are now well positioned to make a significant contribution in some of those more intractable issues such as the elimination of violence, suicide prevention, and restoring the capacity of families to care for their own.

“We have been stretched to meet demand as our families have realised that we have faith in them, to turn the tide, to achieve transformation within their lifetime.   We congratulate the Minister for Whānau Ora on his persistent advocacy on behalf of whānau and his indisputable success in growing the vote to such a notable extent.”

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is set to receive approximately $2.1m per year from Vote Whānau Ora in an operating funding boost projected over the next four years, as well as an additional $1m transferred from Vote Social Development from 1 July 2016.