22 Jan 2013

Whanau Ora working - with a smile, says hapu

8:22 am on 22 January 2013

An Auckland hapu says Whanau Ora is working - and some of its success can be measured by what it calls the 'smile' factor.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is defending the welfare scheme against repeated attacks by New Zealand First.

The political party says Whanau Ora spending is hurting all taxpayers.

But the sub-tribe says its members are taxpayers, too.

A trustee of the hapu, Sharon Hawke, says they've distributed money to a whanau to hold a sports day for some of its people spread throughout the Auckland region.

She says the Whanau Integration, Innovation and Engagement Fund is bringing tribal members together and putting smiles on their faces.

Ms Hawke says the fund is a very small hand-up - and as taxpayers they're giving back to themselves.

Sharon Hawke of Ngati Whatua o Orakei says 80 people took part in the sports day - and the funding is limited to $5000.