15 Nov 2011

Whanau Ora provider surprised National not pushing scheme

7:08 am on 15 November 2011

An Auckland Maori social services provider says it is extraordinarily surprised the National Party is not committing to expanding Whanau Ora when it has failed to fix inter-generational Maori failure.

National's Paula Bennett told Radio New Zealand on Monday it would not guarantee Whanau Ora's growth in the coming three years if it returns to power.

However, National leader John Key says Ms Bennett is not in a position to sign off on the scheme and it might come up for negotiation with the Maori Party another day.

The head of West Auckland's Waipareira Trust, which is a Whanau Ora provider, John Tamihere, says National knows the policy works.

The policy was launched last year with a start-up fund of $134 million for a period of four years.