30 Oct 2009

Kaitoko Whanau programme launched for families

4:02 pm on 30 October 2009

New Maori family advocates are being urged to learn from the tu tangata era of Maori community development.

The Kaitoko Whanau programme was launched on Thursday by the Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

Waatea News reports Te Puni Kokiri will provide funding for iwi and runanga around the country to hire 50 advocates to work in communities to ensure families are getting the services they are entitled to.

Bill Kaua from Te Roopu Awhina in Wellington says it's similar to the sorts of community-led programmes developed in the fomer Department of Maori Affairs 30 years ago.

He said a special sort of person is needed to make it work: people with mana, who can enlist support from kaumatua and kuia.

Mr Kaua said the Kaitoko Whanau programme could improve the way Government agencies interact with Maori.