Marae plans to win back Family Start contract

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 08:51 11/07/2012

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Papakura Marae might have lost its Family Start contract but it plans to win it back.

The marae was one of five providers that lost their contracts at the end of June after the Social Development Ministry decided they were not fulfilling their contracts and were putting vulnerable children at risk.

Marae chief executive Tony Kake says the marae will reapply for the contract as part of Te Kotahitanga, a Whanau Ora collective formed in 2010.

One of the providers that also lost its contract, the Waipareira Trust, is taking legal action against the ministry but the marae is taking a different approach, Mr Kake says.

"We want to work with the ministry because we share the same [desired] outcomes for our tamariki."

The ministry's concerns arose after the marae's Family Start programme did not adjust quickly enough to government-driven changes. But Mr Kake says the marae has now been given a "clean slate" and the collective's tender will be considered on its own merits.

"We've addressed all their concerns, we've reconfigured our organisation," Mr Kake says.

"We listened and looked at all the areas that they wanted us to work on."

Nine staff lost their jobs when the contract ended and most have found other work.

If the collective does win back the contract, the marae's Family Start programme will have a "fresh look", Mr Kake says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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