Govt pours more millions into race-focused responses to Covid-19 and launches a Maori Communications Portal

The Government is pouring more money into race-focused initiatives to help Maori and Pacifika people as it responds to Covid-19 and strives to boost vaccination rates.  A new one landed in Point of Order’s email  in-tray as we were preparing this post.

It came from Kelvin Davis, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, and Peeni Henare, Minister for Whānau Ora.

The headline on the press statement summed it up: Government increases whānau support for COVID-19 response

This support amounts to –

  • An immediate boost of $8.816 million to the three Whānau Ora commissioning agencies to continue to provide direct and integrated support to hard-to-reach families “with complex and overlapping needs”.
  • A further $14.216 million will be distributed based on need as information on the impact of the current change in alert levels unfolds. This will support the work of Whānau Ora providers to meet the increased community need for support and services, including accessing vaccinations, testing and self-isolating spaces.
  • The Ministry of Social Development is making a $2 million fund immediately available to partner with Maori tribes responding to critical unmet needs.  This fund recognises “the potential for emerging need”, particularly in areas which may not have access to other forms of support during higher alert levels, said Sepuloni.
  • Funding of $1 million, from the COVID-19 Response and Resilience Fund will be available to support tribal community responses and assist them to update pandemic response plans to take into account the new reality of the Delta variant.

Other recent press statements advised us –

  • The Government has agreed to a $26 million boost to support Pacific communities grapple with the outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant. The extra funding will go towards Pacific health and disability services; sustaining the response to the current outbreak, scaling up mobile outreach and Pacific community vaccination services, and improving engagement and communications to reach specific ethnic groups within the Pacific community.
  • The Government is launching a new Māori Communication Portal on the Te Puni Kōkiri website. The website will remain the main source of trusted Covid-19 information for all New Zealanders, but “the webpage will become another source of Covid information that will be the go-to website for Te Ao Māori”.  The cost is not mentioned in Jackson’s press statement.

The announcements are recorded on ….

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Aotearoa New Zealand Sustainable Development Goals Summit 2021

By Zoom 9am Thursday 2 September 2021

 New Māori COVID-19 Communication portal

Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today announced a new approach to the Government’s Māori communications response to COVID-19.

Application details for the Wage Subsidy this week

Applications for the initial Wage Subsidy scheme in this outbreak close on Thursday, and applications for the next fortnightly payment will begin on Friday morning.

The special attention being paid to Maori citizens was highlighted in Mahuta’s Zoom speech, too.

Aotearoa New Zealand has reached a point where we can further enhance our approach to foreign policy in a way that is independent, values based and cogniscent of the Treaty of Waitangi as our founding document.

“Our stance on universal human rights, climate change and sustainability, reversing the harmful intergenerational effects of child poverty and progressing opportunities for Māori strengthen the proposition that we can achieve the objectives expressed across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What about progressing opportunities for the whole team of 5 million?

Mahuta said the Government has more work to do to better implement the Sustainable Development Goals in a strategic and co-ordinated manner.

She acknowledged “the OAG who tabled their report just a few days ago”

This report made seven key recommentations

“… that will support the Government in considering critical next steps to elevate our focus on domestic measures to co-ordinate the implementation and reporting on the SDGs”

Mahuta acknowledged the government has a critical role to play

“… to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are embedded in an approach that ostensibly supports critical outcomes to build a more equitable, decent, sustainable and prosperous society.

“Alongside that commitment there is a role for civil society to ensure that there is an enduring social and democratic licence to meet those objectives, there is also a role for the private sector and iwi māori.

“I also believe that there is a role for Parliament.”

It is comforting to know the Minister recognised our democratically elected Parliament has a role to play.

It is disappointing (but instructive) to see it came last in her considerations, almost as an afterthought.

The “OAG”  – by the way – probably is the Office of the Auditor-General and was a reference to a report by John Ryan, Controller and Auditor-General, published on 23 August.

It can be found HERE.

One thought on “Govt pours more millions into race-focused responses to Covid-19 and launches a Maori Communications Portal

  1. What can be said? This is Critical Race Theory in practice. In Taranaki they opened Maori – only clinic to enhance vaccination of Maori population. Just imagine setting White Europeans – only clinic.


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