The Maori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples, will today begin a new programme whose success he hopes will be underpinned by what he calls "the nanny principle".Click through for the rest.
Under Oranga Whanau, groups of three kuia will visit pregnant Maori women to identify welfare issues.
Speaking yesterday at a violence and abuse research symposium, Dr Sharples said the $1 million programme would roll out in Auckland, Northland, Rotorua and Hutt Valley.
Under the scheme, the three "nannies" will work in a team visiting mothers in their regions. Dr Sharples said it followed a smaller trial that iwi in Ngati Kahungunu undertook this year.
The "nanny principle" puts into practice the cultural way older people relate to younger people in the same non-threatening way that Maori wardens work.
"It works really well. One puts the kettle on, one natters about the whakapapa, the other one cuts the cake," the minister said.
"It is a catch-all - it's an opportunity to help people before issues become issues."
I'd be interested if any readers know how this is going to differ from the work that Maori providers for Well Child programmes already work, although I guess the key difference will be that they will be visiting before the baby arrives??