Not so long ago your hard-working member was musing on Radio NZ’s Te Manu Korihi team finding a great gusher of indigenous grievances (he should have said another great gusher).
The radio journos had been talking with the head of an outfit called Te Kaunihera o Nga Neehi Maori – the National Council of Maori Nurses.
This race-based nurses’ outfit was bleating at that time about our district health boards failing to pay it enough heed when deciding how public money should be spent on health services within their respective domains.
Another bleat was about newly trained Maori nurses taking work in rest homes because they can’t get jobs in hospitals.
Guess what? The council is back with more grievances.
The Government isn’t giving it enough money.
Money is being dished out to other Maori outfits and schemes instead.
Here’s what Alf picked up from Radio NZ:
A Maori nurses group is struggling to survive, as it competes for funding with Whanau Ora schemes.
Te Kaunihera o Nga Neehi Maori – the National Council of Maori Nurses – says a lack of financial backing from the state is severely limiting its development.
It says the Crown is inclined to fund new and innovative strategies rather than continue with long-standing organisations in the workforce and health sectors.
The council says it started to receive less money from the Ministry of Health when the economic downturn hit a few years ago.
Alf’s gut instinct was to express some surprise to Mrs Grumble that the outfit was receiving any money from the Ministry of Health.
But Mrs Grumble quite rightly pointed out that this is a Maori organisation, which makes it special and gives it entitlements in the name of the Treaty partnership.
How much money it should claim as its entitlement is the issue.
According to the nurses group’s annual report, there have been cascading reductions in Maori health funding across the sector and competing interests from projects such as Whanau Ora.
Members says they’re struggling to expand the organisation while running it on a largely voluntary basis.
This suggests nurses of the appropriate ethnic and cultural persuasion aren’t flocking to the council’s ranks in numbers big enough to ensure its financial viability.
If this was any other voluntary outfit it would either deliver services to attract a bigger membership or shut up shop.
But this one – as noted earlier – is special.
Accordingly, if the trough for Maori organisations isn’t big enough and the swill rich enough for all their snouts, we should build a bigger trough.
Waddya think, fellow citizens.