Benefits of Whanau Ora Must be Proved

Family First NZ is welcoming the investment in Whanau Ora over the next four years but says that the continued investment must be on the basis of measurable benefits to high need families.

“Any investment in the improvement of families is to be welcomed, but throwing money at the problem won’t make it disappear, as we already know,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “However, a localised co-ordinated approach of services to high need and high risk families has the potential to have success and at a faster and more economical rate.”

“Knowledge is power, and in this case, combined knowledge by all agencies is power to assist families.”

“Maori still rank at the bottom of nearly every single social statistic and it is great that Maori leaders and politicians are willing to acknowledge and take ownership of this problem. However, it is vital that Whanau Ora be available for all NZ families with high needs across a number of areas including health, law and order, education, and family stability – not just Maori.”

“The evaluation will be as important and as valuable as the initial investment.”

“If Whanau Ora is just a catch-phrase with a bit of money thrown at it, then we’ll just keep getting the same results – but with a different name,” says Mr McCoskrie.