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Announcements around Whānau Ora coming in 'month or two' amid legal action from Māori leaders

The Minister for Whānau Ora says a number of announcements will be made regarding the entity within the next “month or two”. 

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Peeni Henare appeared on TVNZ’1s Breakfast to explain Government’s stance. Source: Breakfast

The Government faces legal action from Māori leaders after an urgent claim was made yesterday to the Waitangi Tribunal alleging Treaty of Waitangi breaches by the Cown. 

Minister Peeni Henare told TVNZ1’s Breakfast today there will be announcements "over the next month or two" which will see the Government "localising commissioning". 

Mr Henare reinforced his and the Government's support of Whānau Ora, and disputes claims that their control over the intiative is political. He said the Government doesn't desire to have control, nor does it know what's best for whānau. 

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"Iwi have control. Iwi and hapu know who their people are, the Government doesn’t and I dare say neither does the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency," said Mr Henare. 

"We (the Government) understand the concept, we know that whānau can meet their own aspirations and they need to be empowered to do that, and we support that. 

"So while I have mentioned that this seems political because it’s an election year, the concept itself still focuses on whānau and that’s where my focus is."

Mr Henare said it's not that he doesn't trust the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency.

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In a Waitangi Tribunal claim, they say the lack of funding will cause irreversible prejudice to Māori communities. Source: 1 NEWS

"I agree with the review findings that they do some good work, they do some great work, but there are other opportunities to extend Whānau Ora," he said. 

Labour’s Māori campaign platform for 2017 included a $20 million funding increase over four years for Whānau Ora, however Dame Tariana Turia yesterday told TVNZ1's Breakfast that Whānau Ora has seen none of that money.

But the minister said that they have actually doubled that number.

"In fact, over $40 million to the commissioning agencies over 40 years that doubles the manifesto promise," he said.

"We made it clear after the review that there were opportunities to extend the way that Government agencies invested in the concept in the idea of Whānau Ora as well as localising."