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The Change will Come from Us

'The Change will Come from Us'

Tariana Turia, Co-leader for the Maori Party

Wednesday 30 January 2008


Tariana Turia has today reflected on the various ‘state of the nation’ addresses.

“We understand that traditionally, politicians enjoy berating their political opponents as part of their policy approach” said Mrs Turia. “The Maori Party has never considered such tactics to be either effective or respectful”.

“We know too, that the great ideas of our young people are constantly ignored while others are dreaming up big ideas for and on their behalf, but it is rare that we actually hear their dreams being supported”.

“And although neither of the big political parties gave more than lip-service to cultural resilience, we know that when we are looking at youth, approximately 20% are Maori, and 10% are Pasifika – and growing” said Mrs Turia.

“The fresh ideas of our rangatahi, Maori, Pasifika, Asian and other ethnic populations, must be a driving force in charting our future directions” said Mrs Turia.

“While the fragile condition of lives for some of our young people is causing every New Zealander concern, we will never achieve the change we desire simply by raising the school leaving age again, or offering a Fresh Start programme - no matter how good an idea these both may be”.

“We believe the difference that Aotearoa requires, is in looking to all of our communities for helping to generate the hope we need to inspire our futures”.

“A fresh start for example, was also presented by 11,000 Ngapuhi members this weekend gone, in celebrating their pride in being Ngapuhi while also making the commitment to ‘keep our whanau safe’” said Mrs Turia. “Maybe we should be looking to Kaikohe to be the next venue for contemplating the state of the nation”.

“Our focus must be on going out to young people, and working with them and their families, to find solutions – rather than simply throwing money and programmes at people with the hope it will stem the tide of youth crime”.

“We need to be ready to listen and learn from leaders of our future – to invest in their energy; to incentivise them to become active players in exploring their potential”.

“The message to ‘keep our whanau safe’ goes far wider than simply extending 'interventions', ‘gateways’, ‘modern apprenticeships’ or making ‘youth guarantees', worthy as all of these ideas are” said Mrs Turia. “We must not breed an attitude which relies on government to both determine what is a problem, and deal with them”.

“Change comes from us all having the courage to care, to learn about restorative justice, to think wider than big sticks and punitive approaches”.

"Change comes from all of us, seeing education as our business, working with schools to ensure they help our students achieve their aspirations"

“Change comes from getting involved in our communities, determining our own visions for the future and empowering ourselves to make a difference to bring that future about”.

“The change will come from all of us being committed to families, regardless where their income is from” said Mrs Turia. “It comes from addressing the hard issues of poverty, alcohol and drugs and violence”.

"It is to these activities that policy resources should be focussed".

“The change will come from us”.


Background

The Ngapuhi Festival theme was "Keeping our whanau safe" with Amokura, run by a consortium of Northland iwi CEOs, and its youth violence prevention brand, Step Back, presenting strong messages to curb violence.

ENDS

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