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Ed Sheeran

Whanau Ora challenges financial stranglehold

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A west Auckland community leader says if five percent of state spending was channelled through Whanau Ora, Maori could fix their problems in a decade.

John Tamihere from Te Whanau o Waipareira told this week’s Te Pou Matakana conference that whanau ora now gets just 0.16 percent of the vote, while mainstream agencies are rewarded with billions of dollars to continue a pattern of failure.

The former Labour MP says Governments of both left and right have taken a mean-spirited approach to funding Maori and anger will inevitably build.

An example is the children and young person’s agency, Oranga Tamariki, which gets almost a billion dollars a year to manage a caseload that is overwhelmingly Maori.

"That agency should be helping us turn the traffic off to youth justice because after youth justice those kids go on to incarcerate in adult populaton prisons, they are on a 20-year tracking costing millions of dollars, they actually should have rights rather than being coralled like animals because the system, either education, health, welfare, housing or justice, has not given them as good as they could have got," Mr Tamihere says.

He says Maori parents send their tamariki to schools with good intentions but the time they get to secondary schools learning gaps means they become mischief.


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