The Maori Affairs Minister says a new advocacy service is aiming to break the dependency many Maori families have on government agencies.
The Kaitoko Whanau programme launched on Thursday will fund 50 Maori service providers to hire workers who will help families in trouble interact with government agencies to find a coordinated solution to their problems.
Dr Sharples told Waatea News its philosophy of empowerment harks back to his own days as a Maori Affairs community officer.
He says Kaitoko Whanau is a precursor to the wider whanau ora community development framework the Maori Party is trying to get the Government to adopt.
Bill Kaua, a regional manager in the former Department of Maori Affairs, says the programme harks back to the Tu Tangata era of the 1970s and 80s.