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Maori: Beyond Grievance

Maori: Beyond Grievance - Celebrating World Indigenous day

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party Wednesday

9 August 2006

"We must all do everything we can to support whanau in restoring their families to a situation of hope" said Mrs Turia, reflecting on the significance of celebrating World's Indigenous People's day in Aotearoa.

"Let us all use this World's Indigenous People's Day as a marker, to work towards the solution of problems faced by tangata whenua in all areas - culture, education, health, the environment, and social and economic development".

"Of course there are many issues that still need to be addressed, and we will not desist from reminding the Government about these" said Mrs Turia. "We will continue to advocate for those most affected by poverty to experience a real shift upwards in their living standards".

"We have been interested at the whistle-stop hotel circuit tour being carried out by Te Puni Kokiri, to promote the replacement of programmes such as whanau development, direct resourcing and local level solutions with investment schemes in financial literacy or how to develop an asset base for business and enterprise" said Mrs Turia.

"While it is good to see Te Puni Kokiri trying to get out amongst the people, I hope that they are also spending time with our communities who are dominated by poverty, unemployment, poor housing and hardship" recommended Mrs Turia.

"The latest reports (the Social Report 2006 and the Living Standards Report) demonstrate the fierce grip that poverty has on the lives of so many of our people. In particular, we are aware that the people who suffer the greatest poverty in New Zealand are children, with 38% in hardship categories" said Tariana Turia, spokesperson for whanau development for the Maori Party.

"The Maori Party is asking the Government to move from an obsession with 'taking away', to a focus which will restore confidence in people, in their ability to determine solutions which will make a difference for their families" stated Mrs Turia.

"In the last few months, the Government has moved to delete treaty references from legislation, remove the Treaty from the school curriculum, punish beneficiary parents by withholding the child tax credit, threaten the unemployed that their benefits will be cut if they move to a 'blacklisted' location, and a host of other moves designed to show NZ who's boss".

"World Indigenous Day (9 August) is a great chance to take stock, and to see how effective this type of punitive action, is in advancing the aspirations of Maori, in the best interests of the nation" ended Mrs Turia.

ENDS

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