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No voice for Maori – Council calls for "Maori Voices" report

New Zealand Maori Council has called on the Secretariat for the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry to release reports and material related to the voices of Maori. The call comes after it emerged the Secretariat failed to inform stakeholders and the public about the existence of a series of reports that underpinned the recently released Inquiry recommendations. This includes a report related to the Maori voices and submissions.

“Hundreds and hundreds of Maori across the country participated in the Inquiry and many felt, when the report was released, that their voices had not been heard. Now we discover there is a comprehensive report and summary of those voices so it beggars belief that it hasn’t been released.” Council Spokesperson, Matthew Tukaki has said

“We suspected something was wrong which is why we asked almost immediately, through an official information request, that all material now be released – that’s when we discovered something was up and the management of the Secretariat is about as appalling as it gets. Council said at the time and we say again, throw open the doors and let the voices of our people be heard – release the report and release it now is my message to that secretariat.” Tukaki said

“In order for us all to move ahead, in order for the Government to formulate responses to the recommendations surely all the information needs to be on the table.” Tukaki said

“Maori are sick and tired of being excluded, of being treated like a silent partner even when we think finally we are being heard – what has been demonstrated through the release of the initial report is that those involved in the Secretariats leadership must be called to account, they must release the reports and they must get out of the way of us all moving forward.” Tukaki said

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