Topic: Politics

Winston takes aim at Whānau Ora

By Maiki Sherman
  • Wellington

In Parliament today, Winston Peters fired a broadside, with Whānau Ora Minister, Tariana Turia, in his sights, regarding claims the Minister offered resources to various Māori entities to prepare commissioning agency bid documentation.

There have been two main accusations from Winston Peters.  

The first relates to a contract worth half a million dollars between Te Puni Kōkiri and the National Hauora Coalition.  The second to an alleged $3mil handed over to the Iwi Leaders Forum.

Whānau Ora Minister, Tariana Turia, refutes these allegations, but the NZ First leader says all are aimed at propping up both groups' commissioning agency bids.

It's round two of the Whānau Ora fight and it seems Winston Peters is backing away from the allegation that $3mil was given to the Iwi Leaders Forum by the Whānau Ora Minister.   

Yes indeed, in the email by Sonny Tau, it states: "We would like to take up your offer of resources and a possible documentation writer."

However, the following day, an email was sent to Sonny Tau from the Minister's office, stating: it's not appropriate for the Minister to do so. 

Winston Peters says the $500,000 contract between Te Puni Kōkiri and the National Hauora Coalition (NHC) is another example of propping up a commissioning agency bid.  

The Minister says the NHC may very well put a commissioning bid in.  Willie Jackson, chairman of MUMA, says that makes for an uneven playing field.  They too have entered a commissioning bid.  

The commissioning tender process will close this Friday, at which point, only time will tell the way forward.