29 Oct 2009

Whanau advocacy programme launched

9:04 pm on 29 October 2009

A veteran of the Department of Maori Affairs says a new whanau advocacy programme harks back to the Tu Tangata era of the 1970s and 80s.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples launched the Kaitoko Whanau scheme at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt on Thursday.

Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, will provide funding for iwi and runanga around the country to hire 50 advocates to work in communities to ensure families are getting the services they are entitled to.

Bill Kaua, a former Maori Affairs regional manager, says community involvement is a hallmark of the tu tangata philosophy.

Mr Kaua says as a Maori Affairs community officer in the 1980s, Dr Sharples had hands on experience with tu tangata.