Today the government announced a range of initiatives for Māori – including $15 million to the 3 Commissioning Agencies to inject mechanisms and care packages directly into the poorest communities.
“I tautoko our Māori Ministers who have come together to acknowledge and put together a package for Māori,” Raukawa-Tait, chair of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, said.
She said new funding will be targeted by accredited Whānau Ora providers to whānau within their communities. The collective is the only support network – including government agencies – who have the ability to provide immediate support and relief for whānau.
Raukawa-Tait said WOCA was left to initiate hygiene and sanitation packs for families, where cleaning products were considered a luxury. The first 10,000 will be dispatched this week with the remaining 20,000 distributed over the next fortnight.
“Our providers know their communities and whānau who will need these packs and they will receive them over the next few weeks,” Raukawa-Tait said.
She also acknowledged that Māori generally did not engage with the health system with many living in isolated rural communities.
The government will provide funding for Māori-led, Māori-specific vaccination programmes to address equity issues, including a targeted health promotion campaign and to support the workforce of Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies to respond to the increase demand as a result of Covid-19.
“The health packages designed for clinics don’t serve the majority of our people,” Raukawa-Tait said.
“It is timely that we finally get funded to support initiatives by Māori to Māori for Māori.”