TAHUA 2017: Māori Party claims thin slice of Budget pie for ‘whānau’

By Leo Horgan

The Māori Party’s ‘at the table’ strategy of supporting the National-led government in exchange for policy concessions for Māori has helped net $122mil in Budget 2017 funding for Māori-specific initiatives according to the party’s leadership.

Māori Party representatives say a continued focus on strengthening and supporting whānau distinguishes their influence on Budget 2017 from other parties.     

While a portion of the $122mil has been allocated pre-Budget day, $94.9mil has been announced as part of today’s budget unveiling.  Māori Party representatives outlined the initiatives using broad categories including whānau, whakapapa, whenua and whanaketanga.


Whānau Ora

More Whānau will get access to Whānau Ora support across the country with the injection of $10mil of new operating funding over four years in this year's budget, according to Whānau Ora Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.

The funding is in addition to the $40mil boost Whānau Ora received in Budget 2016, and the $50mil in Budget 2015.

“Whānau are achieving greater outcomes through Whānau Ora, and this additional investment will support a further 2,500 Whānau over the next four years to achieve their aspirations,” Mr Flavell says. 

Family Violence

Budget 2017 includes $9mil of new operating funding over four years to support whānau-centred family violence interventions.

“We need to break the cycle of family violence, and we know whānau-centred, kaupapa-based approaches lead to positive, long-term outcomes for Māori,” says Flavell.

The funding will include new money to pilot the introduction of facilitators who will support Whānau to access appropriate help to end violent behaviour.

Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund

Work to help reduce suicide and self-harm among Māori youth will receive $8mil over four years, which will be used to extend funding to the Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund (Oranga Rangatahi).

Waka Oranga Mobile Health Clinic

Whānau living in rural communities in the Mātaatua and East Coast rohe will get better access to subsidised health services with $1mil allocated in 2017/18 to fund a Waka Oranga, mobile health clinic.

“The mobile health clinic will allow health services to be delivered closer to the homes of whānau,” Mr Flavell says.


Kōhanga Reo

$5mil of new funding over the next three years will lift Whānau participation in Kōhanga Reo.

“We know that Kōhanga Reo sets tamariki and whānau on a lifelong pathway of learning te reo Māori so it's vital we provide support to improve participation and access,” Mr Flavell says.

“We must set our children on to a productive educational pipeline, and our support here is critical.”

Te Māngai Pāho

More Māori stories are set to be told, with $10mil of funding over four years allocated for programmes and content through broadcasting funding agency Te Māngai Pāho.

Te Mātāwai

Over the next two years $3mil of new funding will support Te Mātāwai to lead language revitalisation on behalf of iwi and Māori, and a further $3mil over two years will be provided to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to promote te reo Māori.


Māori Land Service

$31mil of funding will be dedicated to establish phase one of the Māori Land Service.

The Māori Land Service will provide core services for Māori land owners. It will hold the Māori Land Registry, provide dispute and mediation services, support owner decision-making by providing governance and training, as well as providing Māori land owners with advice and support on development options.

“The design of the Māori Land Service has been informed by more than 1,000 Māori landowners, and they clearly signalled the need for it to provide advice and support on development options that align with their whenua aspirations,” Mr Flavell says.

Te Ture Whenua

New funding to inform Māori land owners, trustees and Whānau about Te Ture Whenua Māori reforms is provided for in Budget 2017.

The historic changes proposed in Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill are the most significant changes to Māori land law in 20 years, and Budget 2017 allocates $2mil over three years to educate landowners about the new legislation.


Māori Tourism

Māori tourism operators will be able to create new employment opportunities with $10mil of operating funding over four years in Budget 2017.

The funding boost for New Zealand Māori Tourism (Te Tāpoi Ararau) will allow it to extend existing support to build the capability and capacity of Māori tourism operators.

“A programme to showcase Māori historical tour trails to be piloted in East Coast/Bay of Plenty will be funded. It will be a boost for the region and we hope tourists, both domestic and international, will take the chance to learn a little bit more about our past,” Mr Flavell says.

He Kai Kei Aku Ringa

He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, the Crown-Māori economic growth partnership, was developed through recognition that regional Māori economic development requires initiatives that are Māori-led and government-enabled.

A fund of $2mil will be reallocated to help grow Māori enterprises and create more jobs in the regions.

Budget 2017 Māori initiatives - at a glance:

$122mil total (including pre-budget announcements)

$94.9mil announced in Budget 2017

Whānau:  $28mil

-$10 mil Whānau Ora

-$9 mil Family Violence Intervention

-$8 mil Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund

-$1 mil Waka Oranga Mobile Health Clinic (Mataatua and East Coast region)

Whakapapa: $21mil

$5 mil Kōhanga Reo

$10 mil Te Māngai Pāho

$3mil Te Mātāwai

$3mil Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori

Whenua: $33.9 mil

$30.9mil Māori Land Service

$2mil Te Turi Whenua Māori Bill reforms

$1mil Te Mana o te Wai

Manākitanga: $12 mil

$10mil NZ Māori tourism

$2mil He Kai Kei Aku Ringa