Budget 2021: No more cash for Whānau Ora in major blow to iwi and Māori providers

Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo credit: Newshub

Newshub can reveal there is no additional funding in this year's budget for Whānau Ora.

A Newshub source says Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare gave commissioning agencies a heads up last night over a Zoom call and told them he had put in a Budget bid.

If that's the case, it appears to have been rejected by Finance Minister Grant Robertson in a Budget with high expectations to deliver for Māori, especially in housing. 

In last year's Budget, the Government topped up Whānau Ora with $136 million over the two years. That money is still flowing through this year but providers had been hoping for additional funding. 

Of that, $53 million went to the COVID-19 response and $73 million for the three commissioning agencies.

This will come as a major blow to Iwi and Māori providers especially after Henare sung their praises in a recent Newshub Nation interview

"We smashed it in the last 14 months with respect to COVID - Whānau Ora has been the highest performing, one of the highest performing portfolios in this government as far as I’m concerned."