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Maori benefit from $40m and $7b funds

MEDIA RELEASE
Hon Tariana Turia Co-Leader of the Maori Party 28 May 2009

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT and INFRASTRUCTURE:
Maori benefit from $40m and $7b funds

The Maori Party welcomes the allocation of up to $40 million for community responses to the recession, announced by Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett.

“We know that our communities will be amongst those most vulnerable throughout the recession,” said Tariana Turia, who is also Associate Social Development and Employment Minister.

“But we also know that solutions are most effective, when they are locally owned by the people, and the community response fund will enable that to happen.” The Maori Party also recognises the impact the $7.45 billion for infrastructure will have over the next five years in supporting jobs in the short term and lifting economic wealth in the long term.

“Maori will directly benefit from the increased infrastructure investment by the possibilities of employment opportunities for iwi and for individuals in the construction of major projects.

“We have been talking with the Government about enabling Maori to determine their own destiny while also putting measures in place to soften the hard edge of the recession.

“The initiative to strengthen local networks and give stronger voice to community groups who are not usually heard in government processes recognises the importance of a strong and mutually respectful relationship between the Crown and Maori.

“Budget 2009 prepares the ground for development on a number of tiers – it sets in place the pathway to develop whanau ora – to do for ourselves; it encourages iwi Maori to take up opportunities in education and training to increase the skill base and in doing so it positions Maori to be ready to be part of the acceleration once the economy recovers.”

ENDS

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