Press Release – Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi
Winston Peters’ comment that Whanau Ora be terminated is hugely disappointing. It is the most promising policy for families/whanau that has emerged since that of Tu Tangata in 1977.
The Maori Party has received the following comments from Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi which she is happy to share with the media.
Winston Peters’ comment that Whanau Ora be terminated is hugely disappointing.
It is the most promising policy for families/whanau that has emerged since that of Tu Tangata in 1977.
We know of the outstanding success achieved by that kaupapa.
It was driven by the whanau, Hapu and Iwi, in tandem with such organisations as the New Zealand Maori Council and Maori Women’s Welfare League.
Grass roots whanau took responsibility for curtailing the Maori “problem’ focus in favour of harnessing the latent potential of all Maoridom.
With the demise of the Department of Maori Affairs in 1989 the momentum was lost as other Government policies arose.
Fast forward to the present day and here we are again, wallowing in a mountain of “problems’ that all the efforts of Government are failing to arrest.
Whanau Ora’s time has come for all whanau /families of this country.
The proposal to dismiss it out of hand indicates a lack of understanding of its intent.
Furthermore the notion that it is a policy for Maori only suggests that all non- Maori are functioning well.
In this regard does not the Treaty of Waitangi relate to the wellbeing of all shareholders of our country?
The nonsense that any efforts by Maori are either “separatist’ or ‘racial’ needs to be kicked to touch…..
it is the needs of people that are the issue, whether they are blind, deaf, disabled, elderly, young…. or Maori !
It behoves all the doubting clique to comment from a position of greater understanding or come up with alternatives that restore extended whanau/ families responsibility, dignity, self-belief, purpose and hope. Anything less is a recipe for disaster!
Whanau Ora is in its embryonic stage and deserves time for effective implementation as, for one thing,changing entrenched systems is a challenge necessitating a different mindset.
In this regard moving from the prevailing ‘fix it’ mentality to one of empowering and enabling whanau/families is a task of some magnitude and such a move deserves a chance.
Not much else is working or making a difference despite the billions of dollars that are being swallowed up right now.
8 February 2012