15 Jun 2015

No apology from Auditor-General over Whanau Ora

8:22 pm on 15 June 2015

The Auditor-General says she will not be apologising for criticism she has made about Whānau Ora.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost Photo: OFFICE OF AUDITOR-GENERAL

In a report tabled in Parliament on 5 May, Lyn Provost said Whānau Ora's administration was cumbersome and unusual.

The report found nearly $42.3 million of the programme's $137 million funding had gone to administration.

Iwi Chairs Forum spokesperson Sonny Tau said the comments were unfortunate and he believed the Auditor-General was set to talk to an iwi leaders meeting to apologise personally.

However, while Ms Provost confirmed she had accepted an invitation to an Iwi Chairs Forum meeting, she said she would not apologise.

In her report, she outlined her hope that the criticism be taken on board.

"I have no doubt that some commentators will make light of the successes described in this report and make much of the criticisms. However, an innovative idea should not be abandoned just because of implementation problems.

"I earnestly hope that those involved with the next phase of Whānau Ora are able to take my criticisms on board and learn from them."

She said it was an opportunity to discuss the report's findings and how it could be used to improve Whānau Ora.

There has been no date or agenda set for the meeting.

Sonny Tau

Sonny Tau Photo: Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi

Mr Tau said the forum would discuss the areas of the report.

"Basically, our understanding is that when the Auditor-General's office meets with iwi leaders, we will be discussing the areas of her report which continue to leave questions unanswered and fill in the gaps in her report," he said.

"We will also discuss the very limited purview of Whānau Ora expressed in her report."

Read the report on Whānau Ora

The total amount spent was $137.6 million, which was made up of:

  • $20.8 million (15% of the total) spent through the WIIE fund;
  • $67.9 million (49% of the total) spent through the Service Delivery Capability fund;
  • $6.6 million (5% of the total) spent through the funds for commissioning agencies;
  • $42.3 million (31% of the total) spent on administration (including research and evaluation).

An extra $10 million has been transferred to Vote Health to pay for a Whānau Ora information system.

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