An extensive blueprint to reduce child poverty in Aotearoa was released in two reports at Ruapōtaki Marae today by Whānau Ora Minister, Peeni Henare, who said the occasion was one filled with emotion.

E Tipu, E Rea, The Collateral Change for Reducing Child Poverty Report and Ngā Tini Whetū, The Blueprint for System Change provide world leading evidence that the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, reverses the child poverty curve.

Minister Henare accepted a taonga from Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency Chair, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait before expressing the impact the Ngā Tini Whetū pilot has had.

“It makes it really quite emotional when you see all the good work that was done and now there is a lot more work ahead. From this report we have all the evidence we need to support this kaupapa and that’s what’s so special about today. Of course it’s all eyes on the budget next week from this government, but the Prime Minister has made it clear that the issues facing our people are bread and butter issues, and I have always been of the belief that Whānau Ora can rise to those challenges”.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait shared those same sentiments.

`“Child poverty has become entrenched, so much so that many whānau now consider it the norm. We need to show them that it quite simply is not the norm. Government agencies have a role in moving the dial for our families. They have had many chances and failed, so what they need to do is change their approach. The families in these reports will tell you how different and how significant our approach has been in reducing poverty for them”.

The reports outline not just the strategies used during the Ngā Tini Whetū pilot, but how successful they were through the eyes of some of the 800 whānau who took part, and that is what Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency Chief Executive, John Tamihere focused on.

“We don’t witness history we make it and we made it again here today. That’s the magic of our people. To uplift whānau from poverty is the uplifting of their spirit first, they have to believe in themselves, that’s the key. They have been put down so much that they struggle to even find that mana in themselves and that is just unacceptable”.

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