• Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The Government has established a Maori Provider Development Fund to contract to deliver a range of social services contributing to whanau and community development, Maori Affairs Minister Tau Henare said today.

"As announced by the Prime Minister in her Statement to Parliament, the fund will develop skilled Maori providers who can create and deliver the services required by purchasing agencies."

Mr Henare said $10.5 million would be allocated over the next three years for this purpose.

"The need for provider development has been recognised in most sectors but, until now, has only been addressed systematically in the health sector," he said.

"In effect this is community control and even my most critical political foes have to admit it's a step in the right direction," he said.

"Some of the benefits of Maori providers delivering services to Maori include enhanced access to services, more appropriate delivery processes, and most importantly, improved outcomes for Maori."

The fund is to be managed by Te Puni Kokiri and will cover those social sectors or service areas where discrete development funds do not currently exist. It will complement the existing work on development of health providers in other areas such as employment and training, justice and family support services.

Mr Henare said funding would be available for a range of different initiatives depending on the needs of providers and the priorities of purchasing agencies.