The budget's extra funding for Whanau Ora has been welcomed by Dame Tariana Turia, who started the initiative when she was in Parliament.

Whanau Ora will receive an extra $40 million over four years.

The money will almost double its budget to $72 million a year, Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said. It will add 2500 more whanau (families) to the 8500 now involved.

Mrs Turia said the extra money given proved the initiative was seen to be working.


"I know it's working, because I have been talking to people around the country.

"They're very excited about taking back responsibility for themselves."

People do improve their circumstances if they can plan their own way forward, get resources to help them and take responsibility for the result, she said.

The extra money for Whanau Ora was on the right track, but it was not much compared to other spending on social services. And she said some of that was wasted.

"I know from all the years that I was on government that there's a lot of money wasted on the social sector, by both National and Labour.

"You have providers given money with the best of intentions but not to get any considerable outcomes. It's all outputs oriented; about counting numbers."

That wasn't good enough now. Every cent had to make a difference in the lives of families.

"We can't be watching the media every week coming out about how mad, bad and sad everybody is."