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Tamaiti Whangai Launch - Horomia Speech

SPEECH FOR HON PAREKURA HOROMIA

Tamaiti Whangai Launch, 9 April 2001

Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

Mihi

I applaud your insight and commitment to propose this innovative initiative.

I applaud it because it is so clearly developed for the Hutt Valley community.

As Maori we also look for wholistic solutions that consider: wairua, hinengaro and whanau.

Tamaiti Whangai is about nurturing tamariki to ensure vitality and prosperity, as individuals but also as owners of our communities.

It is an example of an initiative that has been developed by the people and the success of the programme will be attributed to the strength of leadership, knowledge and resourcefulness.

You now have management teams in six locations, which in itself reflects strong leadership, knowledge and resourcefulness.

I remember when this new initiative started here at Waiwhetu a few years ago.

It was called Kohanga Reo. After that came Tu Tangata.

These successful programmes are now running throughout Aotearoa.

Our kaumatua would insist that we must hold fast to our Maoritanga, to our values, to our Maori way, which has carried us from generation to generation as proud people who continue to maintain a high quality of life in this country.

As residents of the Hutt Valley you have obviously looked at yourselves and said yes, this is the time and this is the way we as Maori communities can build the future more strongly, a better future for our young and our old.

You are opening up a new way forward, a new way possibly for many other cultures and communities of this country to follow.

Tamaiti Whangai is saying to me as a government minister “we invite you to join with us as we stand”, in “command” again of our people in the Hutt Valley.

This is what my government is demanding of itself, of its public service.

We must also bear in mind that there are other communities in Aotearoa with the same needs and concerns and who are also calling for support.

It is with a huge amount of regret that I cannot support them all. I must now take the proposals and prioritise them so that rest assured I am meeting the most immediate needs of Mäori.

Looking back, history tells us about colonialism, about assimilation policies, about integration of the Maori people into New Zealand society. Strange words and cliques which we as a nation have gone beyond.

The new world of globalisation, of information highways, of new technologies, of new medicines are simply wonderful.

We are part of that.

But the many thousands of years of Maoritanga is what will make the future better for us as Maori, as New Zealanders, as we combine our values with the strengths of the modern world.

ENDS

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