25 Sep 2013

Turia denies Peters' funding claims

9:53 am on 25 September 2013

Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia has categorically denied giving money to some Maori organisations to help them prepare proposals.

Whanau Ora funding is soon to be administered by groups from the private sector, rather than the ministry.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters asked Mrs Turia on Tuesday if the Iwi Leaders Forum had been given $3 million to help it apply to become one of those groups.

He also asked if the National Maori Health Coalition had been given $500,000 to prepare its bid for funding.

Tariana Turia replied to Mr Peters' questions in Parliament by saying she had no idea what he was talking about.

Mrs Turia told Morning Report on Wednesday she stands by that answer.

"I'm saying I don't know what he's talking about because I don't and the fact is, no money went to the iwi leaders because at no point in any conversation have I ever told Sonny Tau or the the iwi leaders that they could get money, because I can't," she said.

Mrs Turia says Mr Peters is just trying to undermine Whanau Ora.

Mr Peters is also standing by the assertion he made in parliament on Tuesday.

He told Morning Report $500,000 was given to the National Maori Health Coalition for three months work to prepare it to make a bid for funding.