Te Puni Korkiri says it is happy with the performance of a Whanau Ora fund despite an evaluation which found $7.7 million has been distributed to families without the results being measured.

The independent evaluation released to Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act found there was evidence the Whanau Integration, Innovation Engagement Fund was helping families get results.

But the report said it was not known how many whanau plans had been written or completed.

The fund allows families to apply for up to $20,000 in grants to achieve goals like stopping gambling or leading healthier lifestyles.


Te Puni Korkiri said it was pleased with the performance of the fund over its first two years and the contribution it makes to the wider whanau ora approach.

About 33,000 people in more than 2000 families had accessed support from the fund to put together development goals and plans for their members.

"An independent evaluation found that bringing whanau together backed up by good quality facilitation is transformative in itself.

"This is a positive indication of the impact that the fund is having but gathering a stronger evidence base will be a priority for the fund and the wider Whanau Ora effort going forward."

Te Puni Korkiri said it was developing its internal management response and would refine its fund procedures and practices.

Meanwhile, a Dunedin gang member has been jailed for four years after misappropriating $20,000 from a Whanau Ora-funded family violence programme so he could buy cannabis for sale.

Mongrel Mob member Korrey Teeati Cook, 36, pleaded guilty to dishonestly converting $20,000 of money from the We Against Violence Trust, conspiring with others to sell cannabis and possessing cannabis for supply.

He was sentenced in Dunedin District Court yesterday.


The court was told the trust was a legitimate organisation which helped whanau and only $20,000 of the $56,000 it received was used for criminal purposes.

- APNZ and ODT