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Ed Sheeran

Spending prepares Maori for reforms
Minister Peeni Henare |GettyImages

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Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says the fact there was no new money for the programme in the Budget doesn’t mean providers will miss out.

The Budget included more than $1 billion in new spending for Maori, most of it in housing and in health as part of the wider reform of the sector.

Mr Henare expects Whānau Ora providers to get caught up in that, because many also provide health services.

"The shifts we are making in the health sector are looking towards not only securing a system, like a Māori Health Authority that will continue to serve our people, but also to be able to make room to enable out Maori health providers to make the shift within what will be huge health reforms," he says.

Mr Henare says Whānau Ora providers knew last year’s Budget boost was for two years, and he will continue to advocate for the kaupapa.

National Urban Maori Authority chair Lady Tureiti Moxon says while she’s disappointed there wasn’t more money for Whānau Ora,  Budget 2021 is a win for Māori.

She says the increase in benefit levels is a good start, as long as the cost of living doesn’t go up.

Moves on Māori housing will also have an impact.

"Housing is linked to good health and good wellbeing and dignity and it's a very, very good start and I'm very pleased with it," she says.

Lady Moxon says investment in education was also welcome, with kohanga reo teachers set to get their pay levels brought up to their peers.

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