INDEPENDENT NEWS

Maori Party says 'place poverty on the agenda'

Published: Fri 2 Sep 2011 04:38 PM
The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru
Friday 2 September 2011
Maori Party says 'place poverty on the agenda'
Co-leader of the Maori Party Tariana Turia has congratulated He Mana to ia tamaiti/Every Child Counts on the launch of their report ‘the effectiveness of public investment in Maori and Pasifika children’.
“The Maori Party has always set the challenge that the wellbeing of all our children will be addressed when we lift the financial wellbeing of our whanau – and this report confirms that view.
“This issue must be paramount. Too many of our children are dislocated and disconnected by the circumstances of their lives. They are the generation who are the ultimate casualty of decades of dispossession and neglect.
This is the end result of a history in which our people have suffered the chronic loss of land, of language, of resources; and are now they are stripped bare – robbed of the very essence of who they are.
But we must not lose hope.
“We must place poverty on the agenda – and we must agree to investing priority In he ara hou – the pathway forward.
“Our party has given emphasis to initiatives such as setting a deadline to eliminate child poverty by 2020; increasing minimum wage to at least $15 an hour; extending the inwork payment to all families, and investing in the reintroduction of a universal child payment.
“Our finance spokesperson, Rahui Katene, wrote to every member of the House last year, asking for parties to join with the Maori Party in working towards the elimination of poverty.
“As important as the cross-parliament approach would be; we have also recently called for an inquiry into the determinants of wellbeing for Maori and Pasifika children. We must hold this conversation right across the nation – with our business community, on our marae, with our entrepreneurs and economists, with our whanau
“The call for the inquiry was placed before the Maori Affairs Select Committee by the Maori and Green parties, on 6 July 2011 and is now on the order paper of the House.
“I would hope that in the wake of such significant findings around poverty that when the House resumes on Tuesday, we can secure universal support right across the House for the inquiry to start immediately.
There is no time to waste.
ENDS

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