Budget 2014: $30m boost for Maori economic projects and Whanau Ora

03:31, May 15 2014

The Maori Party is celebrating a $30m Budget boost for economic projects and Whanau Ora.

Co-leader Tariana Turia announced an extra $15m funding for the whanua-based social service programme over three years. The money will go to "navigators" who help families access support.

Dr Pita Sharples, her co-leader, also revealed $15 million for Maori economic development. This includes $8m for an "innovation fund," $6m mi for tourism, and $50,000 to build business and cultural relationships with China.

Also in the Budget is $12m over four years to support iwi radio and $5m a year, from Vote Tertiary Education, to establish A Maori Centre of Research Excellence.

Both Turia and Sharples are retiring at September's general election. The Maori party is regularly criticised for its coalition deal with National, but argue it is better to be "inside the tent" pushing for a better deal.

Turia said the cash will build on "good work" achieved with Whanau Ora.

She said Budget 2014, which includes free GP visits for under 13s and extended paid parental leave, will provide more support for low income families.