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Maori Party helps secure $120m in Budget for Maori

MEDIA RELEASE
Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples Co-Leaders of the Maori Party
28 May 2009

Maori Party helps secure $120m in Budget for Maori

In a climate of fiscal austerity which has led to major spending cut-backs in many areas, the Maori Party has secured $120.3 million over the next four years specifically for Maori initiatives in today’s Budget.

Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples said the money has been earmarked for Maorispecific programmes, particularly in the areas of housing, education, social development and Treaty negotiations.

In addition, the Maori Party has identified that real benefits and opportunities will exist for iwi and Maori groups in another $10.9 billion that has been allocated to various areas within the Budget over the next four years.

Against a bleak backdrop of global recession, there was widespread recognition of the need for fiscal conservatism. However, the new funding comes as a result of the work by the Maori Party and the co-leaders’ talks with other ministers.

“Our people have asked us to ‘hold the line’ as far as Government spending on things Maori is concerned and not only have we managed to do that but we’ve also secured other gains,” the co-leaders said.

The relationship and confidence and supply agreement between the National Party and the Maori Party sought significant outcomes in whanau ora.

“It was one of our pre-election promises to get this Government to recognise the kaupapa of whanau ora, and while there’s still a lot of work to do, we’re pleased that this Budget has set us on a path to fulfilling that,” the co-leaders said.

“Our arrangement with the National-led Government has allowed us to have access to and open dialogue with all its ministers so we can talk with them about where we believe the greatest needs for our people are.

“We’re thankful to Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English for giving us the opportunity to have our voice heard in respect of where funding levels should be maintained and where extra money should go.”

ENDS

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