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‘Visionless Budget Punishes Treaty Partner’

19 May 2005

‘Visionless Budget Punishes Treaty Partner’

Co-leader of the Maori Party,

Tariana Turia

“Today’s budget speech snubbed tangata whenua with no mention of the word Maori, and a shallow whistle-stop roadshow meant to placate the thousands of New Zealanders who have lost faith with this Government’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi” said Mrs Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

“Labour has today sealed their fate in terms of the pending loss of the seven Maori electorate seats”, said Mrs Turia. “A piffling $1.2 million treaty exhibition tour will do nothing to restore the confidence of tangata whenua, that this Government respects Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the constitutional foundation of this land”.

“Tangata whenua have disappeared off the radar with this budget, replaced by the ‘Kiwi’ breed which is mentioned 26 times in Dr Cullen’s speech” said Mrs Turia. “Rangatiratanga has been replaced by privilege, but it not Maori who are receiving the privilege”.

“This budget is trying to appeal to middle New Zealand, just like the Government did with the foreshore and seabed debarcle”.

“It is disappointing however to see that the ordinary New Zealander is being denied their opportunity to be extra-ordinary members of families and communities”.

“Instead of supporting families, the funding is going into agencies to address family violence; to paper shuffling in the Ministry of Health to address suicide prevention, a measly $3m to develop a drug directory”.

“We are concerned to see a massive $40 million going into building courtrooms, rather than a comprehensive approach to restoring pride in the nation, a ‘top of the cliff’ solution to reduce crime and wayward behaviour”.

“We are also saddened that this Government prefers to look overseas for parenting programmes rather than looking at our own home-grown, whanau-up solutions”.

“Tangata whenua will be pleased with the funding increases they can benefit from as their article three citizenship rights in areas which have been long over-due for improvement, such as access to good quality drinking water, or cataract operations”.

“On balance however, this Budget fails to provide a vision for a nation committed to the well-being of all our citizens”.

ENDS

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