INDEPENDENT NEWS

Jobs and housing top priority for Maori

Published: Wed 12 Nov 2008 04:29 PM
12 November 2008
Jobs and housing top priority for Maori
Green Party Maori Issues Spokesperson Metiria Turei has reminded Maori leaders that job and housing security for Maori are on a razor-edge and can be either undermined or further advanced, depending on National-Act economic policy.
"Vulnerable Maori communities under a National-Act Government must not be left behind in the push for other economic gains," Mrs Turei says.
"Maori families and workers have the most to lose through weakened employment rights and housing insecurity. An environment which fosters Maori business is essential, but this election Maori voters showed a strong desire to protect employment rights and housing security as well.
"It is important that policy is negotiated to foster Maori business which is such a vital part of iwi independence. But for vulnerable Maori households, jobs and homes are the highest priority.
"Hapu around the country are fighting to protect their freshwater food resources from sewage and other pollutants, and that is another major area of concern. Losing precious freshwater food resources will exacerbate any loss of security.
"Achieving gains in health and education are extremely important, but if Maori families are left on the unemployment benefit or have their state house sold from under them, raising Maori health and educational outcomes will be virtually impossible.
"Act in particular has a fiercely right wing economic policy, under which Roger Douglas created massive levels of Maori unemployment in the 1980's. Those same policies are now part of the mix in a Government which the Maori Party might be a part of.
"If those policies are not able to be moderated, Maori will continue to suffer the worst from a National-Act Government. That must be the first priority for all Maori leaders."
ENDS

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