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Whanau ora embraces all cultures – Maori Party

Whanau ora embraces all cultures – Maori Party
14 October 2008

The family network as the springboard for social, economic and cultural resurgence was the key theme of the Maori Party’s policy launch in Hawkes Bay today.

Co-leader Tariana Turia said the party’s kaupapa of Whanau Ora embraced all peoples who called New Zealand home.

Speaking at Te Aranga Marae, in the multi-cultural communty of Flaxmere, Mrs Turia said that, as tangata whenua and Treaty partners, ‘we have the responsibility to ensure that all peoples who make New Zealand their home are treated with fairness and dignity.’

“We have welcomed those Pakeha, Pasifika, Asian, and many other new New Zealanders, who have told us, they value integrity; they value accountability; they value that sense of being able to work together, to respect our cultural diversity; and to appreciate that which we look for in each other,” said Mrs Turia.

“We choose to believe in what connects us rather than what separates us. Our reaction - to the youth “problem”, to disruptive toddlers in kindergarten, special needs children; gangs, neglected elderly, rural communities – is always consistent, namely, these groups do not exist in separate silos; individuals are part of whanau, and our greatest hope lies in our collective strength: you, me, we.”

The party’s policies on health, education and social development emphasise the importance of local people devising solutions to their local issues and, where necessary, the government supporting their initiatives.

The Party says investment in ‘opportunity communities’ allows all people to become contributors to society and the economy, and generates huge long-term savings.

Health policies invest heavily in wellness, prevention of illness, access to quality primary care and early intervention. There is a strong emphasis on cultural competency across social and health services, and monitoring the outcomes of services to Maori.

The Whanau Ora philosophy puts family at the centre of policy, and would require government agencies to work with whanau on issues that affect them, in health, education, disability and justice.

The Maori Party supports a restorative justice system, and alternatives to prison. There are also specific policies for local controls on gambling and for legislation against tobacco.



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