Friday, April 09, 2010

Glad to be wrong about Whanau Ora

Yesterday in my post about Whanau Ora, I expressed grave concerns about the proposed governance model. Running hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of dollars through an independent trust divorced from public service norms of professionalism, transparency and accountability (not to mention the OIA) was a disaster waiting to happen. And I suggested that, with the appointment of its Governance Group, the government had already committed to going down that route.

It looks like I was wrong about that. According to Gordon Campbell this morning, Whanau Ora will be run from inside the public service, precisely in order to ensure accountability and prevent mismanagement of funds. I am very, very glad to have been wrong.

Which just leaves the problems about privacy, prescriptive social engineering, and personalised dictatorship, not to mention the implementation details like who qualifies and where the money is going to come from, all of which were maddeningly left unanswered in the report. At this stage, they basically have an aspirational vision statement, but nothing concrete. Which makes talking about it like arguing about jelly.