15 Nov 2012

Whanau Ora funding results not being measured

3:03 pm on 15 November 2012

An initial assessment shows Whanau Ora funding worth $7.7 million in 2011-12 was distributed without the full results being measured.

Under the Whanau Integration, Innovation and Engagement Fund, families can apply for up to $20,000 for help in achieving goals such as a healthier lifestyle or giving up gambling.

An evaluation, obtained under the Official Information Act, shows there is good evidence funding is helping families get results - but it is not known how many whanau plans have been written or completed.

An assessment of the fund was given to ministers in September.

Te Puni Kokiri says it will capture more data and a wider review is underway.

However, TPK says it is pleased with the fund's performance in its first two years. It says the evaluation has shown bringing families together is transformative in itself.

Varied reactions

The Green Party says it is disappointed that Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia allowed the programme to go ahead without proper monitoring of its results.

It says Mrs Turia should have prevented this from happening.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says there appears to be no robust auditing process.

John Tamihere, of provider Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust, says Whanau Ora has great potential.

But he says he would turn the tap down on the Whanau Integration, Innovation and Engagement Fund, because the rest of the programme is outstanding.

A manager at the National Network of Stopping Violence, Brian Gardner, says he wants the fund to stay because it means counsellors are now dealing with entire families instead of individuals.