Health Minister backs Whānau Ora investment call

By Moana Makapelu Lee

Health Minister David Clark agrees health and education need investment for Māori outcomes following comments by Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare that there was a lack of investment from officials in Whānau Ora.

"Some government officials are obstinate.  I have attended a number of Whānau Ora meetings.  The ones who aren’t at the table are officials from the departments for health and education," says Clark.  

Clark agrees there is a lack of investment but is waiting for the conclusion of the review before anything is done.

"In terms of the model we'll wait for the outcomes of the review but it's absolutely true that Māori need to be involved in the process of ensuring good outcomes for Māori from health and education."

Whānau Ora failed to receive additional funding in the 2018 Budget and is currently under review.  This week government leaders and national experts are gathering in Auckland to discuss Whānau Ora challenges and direction.

National MP and spokesperson for Māori Tourism Harete Hipango says, "Whānau Ora has previously just been slotted into a health sector portfolio.  I've worked in justice, I've worked in health and I’ve worked in social sector.”

“This is about a total all of being society wellness so I think Peeni is probably correct in that regard but let's not just isolate it to health and education.  It's right across the board."

Funding for Whānau Ora will also be considered once the minister receives a report from the review in November.