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Maori Party secures $620m plus for Maori

MEDIA STATEMENT
Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Co-Leaders of the Maori Party
Embargoed until 3pm on 19 May 2011

Maori Party secures $620m plus for Maori

The Maori Party is proud that it has been able to secure $620 million, specifically for initiatives that will directly benefit Maori, since entering into an agreement with the Government in November 2008.

“We’ve been able to achieve these gains despite the worst financial recession this country has seen in decades, the rigorous tightening up of the Government purse and a natural disaster that has put unprecedented pressure on our country’s economy,” Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples said.

“If we looked at the financial gains we are achieving for our people for every day we’ve spent at Parliament since entering the agreement, it would work out to be $2.67 million (per sitting day).

“We know many of our people have high expectations of us, that they need more resources to grow their businesses and create jobs, so that’s why we are in this for the long haul and why we must stay in a position of influence regardless of who governs.

“The circumstances that our people face were created over the equivalent of 57 parliamentary terms or 170 years so fixing them will not happen over night or even in one term.

“Our biggest focus has been on protecting vulnerable whanau, empowering whanau and education because we know that strong and knowledgeable whanau is the answer to reducing high unemployment, imprisonment and poor health.”

Despite cuts in other Government initiatives, the co-leaders said they were pleased that they had been able to maintain funding for the Maori Party initiatives and in actual fact, gain some new money in the Budget.

In this Budget the Maori Party secured $213.55 million for Maori initiatives. In the previous two budgets, it secured $406.9 million.

END

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