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Major Milestone in Relationship Accord

Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Maori Party Co-Leaders

28 May 2013

Major Milestone in Relationship Accord

Eighteen months ago, in December 2011, the Maori Party negotiated a Relationship Accord with the Government which gave priority to alleviating the urgent effects of poverty in Aotearoa. Today a major milestone has been met, in the announcement of Government support to expand the Kick-Start Breakfast programme being successfully run by Sanitarium and Fonterra to five days a week, for all decile one to four schools.

“Our priority has always been to achieve real results for whanau – it’s bread and butter politics – warm homes, healthy families, safe and secure places for all our children to thrive,” said Dr Sharples.

“Talk is cheap – we wanted to see action – and that is why we specifically argued for and achieved a focus on poverty in our relationship with National. It’s delivering on action that counts – and our Budget package is a step in the right direction.”

“Our most important message is that our whanau matter – and we know that too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Ultimately, we want to equip all our whanau with the right support for them to restore to themselves, their rights and responsibilities to care for their own. That’s self-determination. That’s Whanau Ora.”

“The Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty told us, ‘a significant and durable reduction in child poverty takes time and money. It thus requires political vision, courage and determination.” They also challenged us to recognise that a multi-pronged approach is needed - there is no simple solution,” said Mrs Turia.

“We have fought to make a better life for our people - warm homes through the home insulation investment; reduction in the appalling rates of rheumatic fever through a community prevention approach; jobs through the $47m investment in trade training and cadetships; micro-financing to help our whanau manage their finances; and now the tangible support for children in schools, is all about helping our mokopuna to be ready to learn.”

“There’s still a lot more to do – but we are pleased that today is about results – jobs, warm homes, full puku, healthy kids.”

ENDS

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