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Harawira: Estimates Debate - Social Services

Estimates Debate: Social Services

Hone Harawira, Maori Party

Tuesday 25 July 2006

Tena tatou te whare.

Na te panuitanga i te ripoata, Tautikanga Ora, ka maarama te ahua, o nga Tari Toko i te Ora, i raro i tenei Kawanatanga.

Kia mohio ai tatou - kua rahi ake, mai i te whitu o rau i te tau rua mano, ki te tekau ma whitu o rau, i te tau rua mano ma wha, nga Maori e noho ana i te pohara rawa.

A, ko a tatou whanaunga o Te Moananui a Kiwa, kua rahi ake, mai i te tekau ma rima o rau, ki te rua tekau ma whitu.

Ko nga whanau kei te tino raruraru, ko ratou me o ratau tamariki, kei te penihana. E te iwi - toru te kau o rau, a tatou tamariki kei te pohara rawa atu.

Tangi ana te ngakau i tenei tu ahuaranga.

E taka haere ana nga tautikanga ora, mo te pani me te rawakore, a, ko te kawanatanga, ka noho, ka titiro noa iho.

Ehara tenei i te pohara noa iho, he rawakore, me tona tahuhu korero.

A, i a tatau e wananga ana, i nga kaupapa whakapakari tangata, me huri, me aro ki nga akonga o nehera.

I timata ai nga tikanga toko i te ora, hei penihana kaumatua, i te tau tahi mano, waru rau, iwa te kau ma waru (1898).

Ko era kahore i awhinatia, ko te pohara, te koretake, te haurangi, te paruparu, me te taurekareka.

Ko te tino pohara, kua warewaretia.

I whakauruhia te kawanatanga i nga tikanga Maori ki nga ture tuku penihana, kia kaua e whanui atu te penihana ki te Maori.

Kahore te ture whakahirahira o aua ra, ara, ko te Ture Putea Toko i te Ora, o te tau 1938, i whakatinana ai, nga painga ki te Maori. Kei kona tonu te rereketanga, o nga utu penihana, ki te Maori me te Pakeha. Na tera, ka hangaia a Eruera Tirikatene i tetahi ope, kia haere ki te Minita o Nga Penihana, hei tautohe i nga mahi takatakahi i te Maori.

I korero ia mo te Pa o Ratana - ka riro e nga Pakeha, te katoa o te penihana, a, he iti noa iho te utu ki te Maori.

Engari ko te kaupapa a tauiwi, ko rereke - ko to tatau iwi Maori, kei waho tonu.

A pera i enei ra, ko nga tangata, kei a ratau nga rawa, ka hanga keeti i mua i o ratau whare, me te panui “kia noho atu ki waho”.

Engari ahakoa he aha, he iwi pakari to tatau iwi maori. E orite ana ki te maarama - hakoa ka ngaro, ka ara mai ano.

Ma te Roopu Wahine Maori Toko i Te Ora, i maranga ai tatou, i te tau 1951, a ko nga korero whakamiharo i runga i a ratau, mo nga mahi waenganui i nga Maori, o aua ra.

I toro ake o ratau awhina, ki te pani me te rawakore, a, na te werawera o o ratau rae, ka rewa ake te tautikanga ora.

I a ratou ripoata ka tuhia i nga ahua whakaiti i te tangata; ka ki ratou, “iwa tekau o rau o aua wa, ehara na aua tangata te raruraru, engari, na wahi ke atu.”

Ko tetahi o nga mahi tuatahi, i mahia na e Whina, he tirohanga ki te ahua o nga whare i Tamaki, kei reira nga Maori e noho ana - ka kitea he kainga koretake.

Ma te kaha o te Roopu Wahine Maori, ka whakaae te Kaunihera o Tamaki kia turakina aua kainga koretake, kia hangaia i nga whare pai mo te Maori.

Koia nei nga tahuhu korero mo nga mahi toko i te ora.

I kotia tuturutia e Nahinara nga penihana i te tau 1991, hakoa te tini o nga pohara. Mai i taua wa, kua piki ake te putea, mo te awhi pohara, mai i te rima miriona taara, ki te tekau miriona i tenei wa.

He korero ta tenei? Me whakama tatou ki te nui o tenei pohara roto i a tatou ano.

Ko te kaupapa “Mahi ana mo nga Whanau”, i wehewehe ano ra i te tu o te pohara ki te iwi, kei a ratau nga rawa.

Kua whakarerea ki muri, nga whanau tino pohara.

Ma tatou o te Paremata, e whakatika i nga takanga he, o nga tikanga whakaritea, mo nga kaupapa, toko i te ora.

Me tautoko nga whanau me nga tamariki, i nga wa pohara, me nga wa e kore mahi ana nga matua.

Koia nei nga kaupapa, o te tautoko i te whanau.

Ma te iwi ano e rapa i tona whakamaramatanga.

Kia ora tatau katoa.

Estimates Debate: Social Services

Hone Harawira, Maori Party

Tuesday 25 July 2006

The Living Standards report released last week reveals the true picture of the state of the Social Services under this Labour Government.

Let us recall: the proportion of Maori living in severe hardship rose from 7% in 2000 to 17% in 2004. The proportion of Pasifika persons living in severe hardship rose from 15% to 27% .

The state of the nation is particularly strife for income-tested beneficiary families with dependent children. More than 30% of beneficiary children are in “severe hardship”.

These results make me weep.

The living standards of our most vulnerable are lurching dangerously into deprivation while the Government sits and watches.

This is poverty in its worst extreme, poverty which is indeed making history for all the wrong reasons.

And when we are considering social development it is important to pay heed to history.

The social welfare system started in 1898 as an old age pension.

This system though discriminated against the poor, the undeserving, the drunk, the dirty, and the immoral.

Many poor people were ignored.

For Maori, ‘native custom’ criteria were included in pension entitlement and became a basis for restricting Maori pensions.

The famed Social Security Act 1938 failed to bring immediate benefit payments to Maori; clear cut differences in benefit rates between Maori and Pakeha were maintained, leaving Eruera Tirikatene to lead a deputation to the Minister of Social Security to protest against the victimisation of Maori.

He talked of Ratana Pa - describing Europeans who lived in the pa as receiving the full benefit, while Maori were on reduced rates.

The so-called civilised social security system discriminated. And people, our people, were locked out.

Like in today’s times, where people of privilege, build gates around their residences which say keep out.

But our people are nothing if resilient, and like the moon that disappears and rises again, we rose again, no matter what the adversity.

We rose in the form of the Maori Women's Welfare League, which at its time of establishment in 1951, was commended for its vigour in attacking the social welfare problems of contemporary Maori.

Its welfare work extended to giving aid to members and others in need; providing practical help to improve the standard of their living.

In their reports, the League recognised the stigma attached to a low standard of living, describing “nine times out of ten the causes lie beyond the control of the people concerned”.

One of the league’s first initiatives, instigated by Whina, was a survey of Maori housing in Auckland, revealing insanitary dwellings.

It led the Auckland City Council and the Department of Maori Affairs to demolish slums and provide a higher quota of state and council houses for Maori tenants.

This is our history of social services.

Benefit rates were slashed in 1991 by the National Government. Huge numbers of beneficiaries became increasingly dependent upon hardship assistance. Hardship grants, which have blown out from around 5-6 million dollars, to over 11 million dollars in the past few years.

Doesn’t that tell you something? The level of deprivation for those most affected by poverty is shameful.

The Working for Families package exploits this burgeoning inequality even further.

Our poorest families are being left behind.

We in this Parliament must take responsibility to address the abject failure of the system, that characterises our social security.

Families with children should be consistently supported, including during hard times when parents may not be working.

This was what the whanau development programme was set up to do - to allow our people to determine their own solution.


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