Families not foremost, says mother

By Victoria White

1 comment
Brenda Wainohu (left), with daughter Summahr, 16, said she wanted the 2016 Budget to put families first. Photo / Duncan Brown
Brenda Wainohu (left), with daughter Summahr, 16, said she wanted the 2016 Budget to put families first. Photo / Duncan Brown

A focus on health and education in the 2016 budget pleased a Flaxmere mother, but she thought the Government had not put families first.

Brenda Wainohu works as an administrator at Cape Physio in Flaxmere, while her husband Paul works for Unison. Together they have raised 10 children, with four aged between 12 and 21 still living at home.

Earlier this week, Mrs Wainohu said she thought a focus on family, health, and education should be "first and foremost" in yesterday's budget. While extra funding was allocated to the areas of health and education, the funds would not translate as Mrs Wainohu said she would have liked.

"They're not placing the importance on families first," she said, "it hasn't done a lot for the family in regards to assisting families financially. When there's more money in the household there's more we can achieve in families."

Mrs Wainohu was pleased with the investment into the healthcare system, a total $2.2 billion.

District health boards would receive $1.6 billion over the next four years, starting with $400 million in 2016/2017.

Mrs Wainohu said she was also pleased with the increase in tobacco costs - with the price of a standard pack of 20 cigarettes likely to increase from about $20 to about $30 in 2020.

This was good in regards to an individual's health, she said, and because of "the amount of money which could be used to put another meal on their child's plate". The mother-of-10 said from her experience working within schools she had wanted to see funding extra money go toward addressing the gap between students leaving school and going into tertiary education.

"You want the best for your children and education is very important," she said, "with education comes freedom ... education allows us to make our own decisions." While tertiary education funding was included in the budget, it was not addressing affordability issues which prevented students going to university.

Summahr, Mrs Wainohu's 16-year-old daughter, said she would have liked there to be more funding around offering tertiary courses locally. The Year 11 student was hoping to study physiotherapy, a course offered only at the universities of Auckland and Otago.

For her younger children's benefit, Mrs Wainohu had wanted to see an initiative to help first home buyers in the budget, and was disappointed this was not included. There was $258 million allocated for social and emergency houses, and another $100 million would be used to free up under-utilised Crown land in Auckland for more housing development.

Mrs Wainohu said there should have been more emphasis on housing outside Auckland, as there was a great need for housing in other areas, like Flaxmere.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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