A worthy goal by Turia

The Herald reports:

Up to $1 billion could be moved from specific projects for Maori to a bulk fund aimed at broad goals such as improving Maori education and health.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is driving the radical proposal through her two portfolios as Associate Minister of Health and of Social Development.

She said it would help cut the huge compliance costs agencies faced and reduce the need for the Government to deal with many small contracts tied to specific goals such as youth work, social workers in schools and alternative education.

“We will get a better spend because people will be able to access a pool of money to deal with a range of issues,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to build trust because the sad thing about it is that the bureaucracy doesn’t trust the non-government sector and that’s why we end up with particularly prescribed contracts and with people being over-audited. I’d like to see that change.”

She said she had asked Massey University professor Mason Durie to produce initial ideas on how to do it, and was hoping it would begin at some level by the end of June.

Look forward to details. The aim is very worthy.

Professor Durie said the scheme would almost certainly start on a trial basis in a few places to find out “under what circumstances this would work and under what circumstances it wouldn’t work”.

Agencies said they often ended up working with the same families under various contracts.

Receiving a bulk sum of money to achieve broader social outcomes such as lifting families’ health status, education and work achievements would enable them to take a “holistic” approach to each family’s needs.

The Family Start programme takes a similiar holistic approach. I’ve always wondered why we don’t fund it more.

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