18 Jul 2013

Whanau Ora provider fears marginalisation of Maori

2:22 pm on 18 July 2013

A Whanau Ora provider says changes to the social welfare policy marginalise Maori and they fear the programme will lose its values if privatised.

Under changes announced on Tuesday by Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia, the Government will shift responsibility for the scheme from the Ministry of Maori Development / Te Puni Kokiri to the private sector.

Three appointed non-governmental organisations, for the North Island, South Island and Pacific people, will now decide which community groups get funding.

Te Puni Kokiri says one of the main aims of the change is strengthening the arrangements for Pacific families and communities.

But the project manager for Te Arawa Whanau Ora, Ngaroma Grant, says regional differences aren't being accounted for and Maori are being sidelined.