Part 1: Introduction

Te Puni Kōkiri: Administration of grant programmes.

This performance audit of Te Puni Kōkiri is the third in our series examining the administration of grant programmes by public entities. The aim of this scrutiny is to provide Parliament with assurance that grant programmes are being administered effectively and efficiently. This includes ensuring that public entities give grants in keeping with the Government’s intentions, and that grant recipients spend funding as planned.

Overview of Te Puni Kōkiri

Te Puni Kōkiri (also known as the Ministry of Māori Development) was set up in 1992 as the Government’s principal advisor on Māori issues. It has three main functions:

  • advising on government policy affecting Māori well-being;
  • monitoring the effect of government services in Māori communities; and
  • administering funding programmes for community development.

Since 2003/04, Te Puni Kōkiri has pursued a strategic outcome of Māori succeeding as Māori. This recognises the importance of Māori achieving a sustainable level of success without compromising what it means to be Māori. Since 2004/05, Te Puni Kōkiri has progressively implemented a policy direction called the Māori Potential Approach to work towards achieving its strategic outcome.

According to Te Puni Kōkiri, the ultimate aim of the Māori Potential Approach is to:

... better position Māori to build and leverage off their collective resources, knowledge, skills and leadership capability to improve their overall life quality.1

How we conducted our audit

Our audit examined whether Te Puni Kōkiri was effectively and efficiently administering its grant programmes, and doing so in keeping with the policy direction set by the Government.

The programmes we examined

We examined the administrative arrangements in place for five programmes during the 2004/05 and 2005/06 financial years. These programmes were selected from a wide range of programmes administered by Te Puni Kōkiri. They were chosen because they were among the largest programmes by value, and also covered a broad range of programme types.

Two of the programmes we examined were funded through departmental output expenses.2 The programmes were:

  • Kaitātaki-a-Rohe; and
  • the Māori Business Facilitation Service.

Te Puni Kōkiri does not consider the Māori Business Facilitation Service and Kaitātaki-a-Rohe to be grant programmes. However, we chose to examine them because they:

  • received a significant amount of funding; and
  • were managed using similar systems and processes to those Te Puni Kōkiri used for administering grant programmes.

Until the end of 2005/06, Te Puni Kōkiri funded the other three programmes we examined through non-departmental appropriations. The programmes were:

  • Capacity Building;
  • Local Level Solutions; and
  • Whānau Development – Action and Research.

From the beginning of 2006/07, Te Puni Kōkiri transferred the funding for these three programmes into three new non-departmental output expense appropriations:3

  • Whakamana (leadership);
  • Mātauranga (knowledge/skills); and
  • Rawa (resources).

The change sought to align Te Puni Kōkiri funding programmes to the strategic areas identified through the Māori Potential Approach, and move away from funding short-term projects toward funding longer-term outcome-driven projects.

Because of this change, the Capacity Building, Local Level Solutions, and Whānau Development – Action and Research programmes no longer exist in the same form as when we conducted our fieldwork. However, the focus of our audit was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the systems and processes Te Puni Kōkiri used to administer grant programmes. Te Puni Kōkiri can still apply the examples of good practice or areas for improvement that we identified in our examination of these programmes to its administration of other funding programmes.

Figure 2 provides a brief description of each of the five programmes we examined, along with their appropriated funding for 2004/05 and 2005/06. Two types of Capacity Building programmes are shown in Figure 2. However, Te Puni Kōkiri has administered these types as a single Capacity Building programme. We have used the same approach with our performance audit.

Figure 2
Descriptions of, and annual appropriations for, each of the programmes we examined

Description Appropriations $million (GST-exclusive)
Departmental programmes
Kaitātaki-a-Rohe To provide direct support for Māori community development workers.
Māori Business Facilitation Service To provide advice, guidance, and business facilitation services.
Non-departmental programmes
Capacity Building – Assessment To assist Māori organisations to assess their own capacity.
Capacity Building – General To help Māori organisations and communities to plan their own development.
Local Level Solutions To provide resources to reduce inequalities and develop Māori communities.
Whānau Development – Action and Research To encourage and support initiatives for restoration and rebuilding of whānau to inform Te Puni Kōkiri policy.

The individual grants we examined

We selected individual grants from those approved between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2006. This allowed us to select from a wide range of recent grant applications, while avoiding grants that were administered using processes no longer used by Te Puni Kōkiri.

Funding arrangements for the Kaitātaki-a-Rohe programme and the Māori Business Facilitation Service covered a two-year period. The Local Level Solutions grants spanned 2-3 years. The Capacity Building and Whānau Development – Action and Research grants were awarded each year.

Our fieldwork

We reviewed documentation and interviewed staff in Te Puni Kōkiri’s national office, and at the Auckland (Tāmaki Makaurau), Christchurch (Te Waipōunamu), Gisborne (Te Tairāwhiti), and Hamilton (Waikato) regional offices. We also examined an electronic database used by Te Puni Kōkiri for administering two of the programmes.

Our audit criteria

The criteria we applied to examine Te Puni Kōkiri’s grants were originally prepared for our first performance audit examining the administration of grant programmes – that of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in 2004.4 The criteria were subsequently used for the second audit in our series, which examined the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology’s administration of grants.5

We examined whether:

  • there were sound and appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure that grants were provided in keeping with programme policy objectives;
  • these policies and procedures were being complied with;
  • there was appropriate monitoring of grants as they were paid; and
  • there were appropriate frameworks in place to evaluate the grant programmes.

We expected:

  • the assessment, approval, and management of grant applications to be sound, and to comply with well-defined guidelines and procedures;
  • approved grants to be effectively monitored; and
  • grant programmes to be evaluated to see if expected results were being achieved.

1: Te Puni Kōkiri (2006), Te Puni Kōkiri Statement of Intent 2006/07, page 10.

2: Departmental output expenses are costs or expenses incurred by Te Puni Kōkiri in providing a group of similar outputs (goods and services) from within the Vote Māori Affairs appropriations.

3: Non-departmental output expenses are costs incurred by the Crown in buying a group of similar outputs (goods and services) from Crown entities or third parties.

4: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Administration of grant programmes, ISBN 0-478-18124-8.

5: Foundation for Research, Science and Technology: Administration of grant programmes, ISBN 0-478-181156-6.

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