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Action needed to protect our little ones

Georgina te Heuheu

National Maori Affairs Spokesperson

Tuesday 1 August 2000

Action needed to protect our little ones

The answer to the problem of abuse of Maori children lies within all families, whanau and hapu - and Maori MPs must help them find those answers, National Maori Affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu said today.

"There is no sense in denying that a problem exists. There is a problem, as the tragic events of the last weeks have shown.

"While the solution must lie within families themselves, we as Maori MPs have a duty to our people to show leadership.

"I call on the Minister of Maori Affairs to convene an urgent hui of Maori leaders and social service deliverers to come up with an action plan to confront this problem.

"All Maori MPs, from whatever party, have a part to play. Last week I asked for a meeting with the Minister of Maori Affairs to discuss how we in Parliament can support Maori leaders in coming up with an action plan that will address the plight that too many of our children are in.

"If we all put as much energy, time and commitment into the problem of violence against our women and children as we have into the allocation of fisheries, we might be well on the way to providing a better a better life for all our little ones.

"This is not a political issue but one in which all Maori MPs must play a role," Mrs te Heuheu said.


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