2015 Budget sees boost for Whānau Ora

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

A much needed boost for Whānau Ora Navigators following pre-budget funding concerns that their much needed services would have to be cut or shut down.

They have received a new operating funding of $49.8 million in today's budget.  Te Kāea gauged mixed reaction from those involved in Kaitoko Whānau Services.

It's been called new funding, however the work of Kaitoko Whānau remains the same.

Karanga Mitchell says, “They will not be left unsettled, because we have been responsible in connecting them to the relevant services.  So if we are unable to do our job, their needs will not be met, and they will not receive a quality of life.”

Martin Kaipo says, “Funding is a major aspect of it, especially when we're talking about addressing the social and health issues.  One overlays the other and we cannot separate them, so we need the resources to be able to respond to our whānau needs.

For the last four years that have been invested into the Whānau Ora approach, there's totally uncertainty in terms of it continuing.”

Mitchell says, “Because we're marae-based, we're more approachable and accessible to whānau who need us, so our Kaitoko services will continue.”

The new funding will allow 230 Whānau Ora Navigators to continue work with whānau and families within their areas of focus.