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‘Government Desperate for Another Headline’

5 November 2004

‘Government Desperate for Another Headline’

“The Minister of Race Relations, Trevor Mallard, is once again trying to stir up negative reactions to tangata whenua through his allegations that I am encouraging 13 year olds to have babies as a way of increasing the population” said Mrs Turia today.

“What I actually said, was that I objected to any analysis which depicted fertility as a problem’.

‘Some of the other statements Mr Mallard conveniently chose not to highlight in my speech were:

“the wonder and privilege of life’

“we must celebrate that whakapapa in every heartbeat, every birth and in the lives we have lost’

‘the survival and the prosperity of our people is determined by the protection of our whakapapa’.

‘I am not saying that we should not be concerned about the impact of STIs or that indeed that I am opening the doors to a sexual explosion. Quite the opposite’.

‘I did not cast any judgement on whether 13 year old girls should or should not get pregnant, these are Mr Mallard’s words’.

‘My view is that if a person – of any age – becomes pregnant, we should celebrate and support the wonder of that new life, rather than paint it as a picture of doom and gloom, as a problem.’

‘The reality is that early pregnancy has always been part of our society’.

‘The important issue is not to get into politically correct declarations of who should and shouldn’t get pregnant, how powhiri should be run, who can call themselves indigenous or not’.

‘The important thing is to face up to the reality beyond the rates, and be useful by offering support to our young parents and their children’.

‘We must offer solutions which support the ability of whanau to take care of their own’.

‘To not do so, but to cast negative judgements on their situation, is perhaps the most irresponsible thing anyone could do’.


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