21 Nov 2013

Mahuta seeks ministry assurance over Whanau Ora

7:13 am on 21 November 2013

Labour's spokesperson for Maori Development says Te Puni Kokiri has so far failed to assure her that it will have a tight grip on three agencies that will hand out welfare contracts.

Officials from Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, have been questioned by MPs on the Maori Affairs Select Committee.

Nania Mahuta.

Nania Mahuta. Photo: LABOUR PARTY

Te Puni Kokiri is deciding which three non-government organisations should be become Whanau Ora commissioning bodies.

Labour's Nania Mahuta says there must be full oversight and accountability.

The MP said it would concern her if the agencies were to be exempt from the Official Information Act, because substantial amounts of funding could go to them and the public would want to know how the taxpayer dollar is being spent.

Ms Mahuta says Whanau Ora is a well-regarded welfare scheme but the delivery of the initiative has to be open to scrutiny, to ensure it's effective and value for money.