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Build fences - not ambulances

Build fences - not ambulances

Paying superannuation to Maori when they reach 60 years of age instead of 65 is a short-sighted response equivalent to putting an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, the Green Party says.

"When the Green Party is in Government we will focus on putting resources into trying to lengthen the life expectancy of Maori. Too many Maori die well before they even reach the age of 60. Lowering the age of eligibility age for superannuation will do nothing to fix that," Maori Affairs Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"We understand where the Maori Party's superannuation policy is coming from. But this is just one of a number of areas where arbitrary age limits, that seem to be set for fiscal reasons, create inequities. Another is in the eligibility for student allowances.

"However, when it comes to short life-expectancy, poverty is the real killer - this is apparent when you consider that low income manual workers such as labourers and Maori men feature highest in the early death statistics."

The Green Party's solution to this problem is to tackle the poverty issue head-on.

"We will increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour, ensure people's homes are insulated so they are healthy and warm, target healthcare for groups that need it most, provide more funding for Maori delivery of Maori health services, and make the first $5000 of income tax-free.

"All of these initiatives will increase the length and quality of people's lives.

"The Green Party wants to build a fence at the top of the cliff to provide the solutions before the problems even arise," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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