Whānau Ora gets multi-million dollar funding boost for Covid-19 response

Source: 1News

The Government is giving the three Whānau Ora commissioning agencies an immediate funding boost totalling $8.8 million as they continue their response to the latest Covid-19 outbreak. 

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare said the $8.816 million will allow the three agencies to “continue to provide direct and integrated support to hard-to-reach whānau presenting with complex and overlapping needs”. 

He said the money would be distributed among the three agencies under the “ normal Whānau Ora formula ”. 

Henare said a further $14.216 million will then be distributed “based on need” as the “impact of the current change in alert levels unfolds”. 

“This will support the work of Whānau Ora providers to meet the increased community need for support and services, including accessing vaccinations, testing and self-isolating spaces,” he said. 

“Under higher alert levels in 2020, a strong and effective community-led response to Covid-19, by Māori for Māori, demonstrated the importance of tino rangatiratanga, promoting social wellbeing by ensuring Māori retain and enhance their wellbeing.

Peeni Henare said he looks forward to spreading a positive message in communities while educating people.

“Māori have knowledge, capability and resources that Government needs, and are increasingly in a position to uniquely help the Crown meet its responsibilities.”

The Ministry of Social Development is also making a $2 million fund immediately available to partner with iwi responding to critical unmet needs.

“This fund recognises the potential for emerging needs, particularly in areas which may not have access to other forms of support during higher alert levels,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.

In addition, $1 million in funding from the Covid-19 Response and Resilience Fund will also be made available to iwi responding to the outbreak in their communities. This money can also help them “update pandemic response plans to take into account the new reality of the Delta variant”, Sepuloni said.