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Budget delivers whanau and economic support

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs
28 May 2009

Budget delivers whanau and economic support

Support for families who are most vulnerable and building long-term resilience into the Maori economy are the dual thrusts of the Maori Affairs budget this year, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says.

“We are setting up a network of whanau advocates in communities to liaise with community groups and Maori Wardens and to work with families experiencing hardship, to ensure they are getting all the assistance available to them.

“We will also seek greater collaboration among Maori service providers and government agencies providing assistance to whanau.This reflects the critical importance of whanau as the first port of call when times get tough. Our priority is to empower whanau to support each other.

“At the same time we must maintain the strength of the Maori economy, to protect people’s jobs and training, so when things start looking up we have a skilled and trained workforce ready to expand quickly,” Dr Sharples says.

Whanau Social Assistance Services will get $32 million over the next four years, and the Maori Economic Task Force will get $10 million over 2009/10 and 2010/11.

“In addition, new funding of $2.6 million over the next four years will help establish the Maori Trustee as a fully independent sustainable entity, with ongoing funding for enhanced services to Maori beneficial landowners.

“In the regions, the Turanganui a Kiwa tribes based in Gisborne have been allocated $500,000 a year for 10 years to enhance their capacity to lead local economic and social developments.

“Retention and revitalisation of Maori language and culture remain important to the Government, with $4.5 million allocated to whanau language development over 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12,” Dr Sharples says.

ENDS

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