Hon. Tariana Turia, Minister for Whanau Ora has responded to remarks made by Winston Peters on Whanau Ora, calling the comments "inaccurate, mischievous and misinformed."
"Winston has made a number of wild claims which bear little resemblance to the reality of Whanau Ora" said Turia.
"The Whanau Integration, Innovation and Engagement Fund of $6.059mill has been used to fund over 2000 Whanau Ora plans and 53 implementation activities. These are real people, working together to produce real outcomes and change for their whanau."
"For Winston to politicise the aspirations of one whanau, and the progress they have made towards reconnecting with their whakapapa, tikanga, and cultural identity as a part of the process towards economic, educational, and social transformation is a low point." said Turia.
"One has to ask, what is his strategy? Why would you attack whanau who are doing the best that they can to improve their situations and in the long-term reduce reliance on state dependency? A modest investment at this level might save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars down the track".
"He has made much of the $6,000 received collectively, by 180 people. He has even called their six planning and educational hui a 'family reunion'. He could have described this as workshops - or planning sessions - but instead he chose to trivialise and denigrate an honest attempt by this family to create a successful future for themselves".
"This fund is about bringing whanau together, and harnessing their collective strength towards achieving real change, real outcomes, and real benefit."
"We are about creating real transformation in whanau, not just propping up a system that obviously has not worked for our people over the many decades past. Whanau Ora is the greatest opportunity that we have had to take back responsibility for ourselves. Why would anyone want to undermine that?