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Keep it real: Maori Party Proud of Budget gains for families

15 May 2014

Keeping it real: Maori Party Proud of Budget gains for families

The Maori Party is proud of the influence we have had in shaping Budget 2014 as a Budget which looks after real families in everyday circumstances.

“This is a milestone budget for us. We have worked hard over our last five years in government to future-proof our whanau, to cushion the economic impact of tough times, and to support the wellbeing of our communities by focusing on families, through the transformation of Whanau Ora.”

Tariana Turia, Maori Party Co-Leader says, “Budget 2014 shows that we have been able to secure gains for Maori, and that our commitment and focus on whanau has been picked up and supported across government. Our influence is evident in the solid steps towards improving the circumstances of whanau that emerge across a wide range of portfolios – specifically jobs and apprenticeships for young people; extending the eligibility of paid parental leave and increasing the parental tax credit for all families to benefit; and extending the age of eligibility for free doctors’ visits and prescriptions to all children under 13.”

“A major achievement is in the increased investment in Whanau Ora Navigators as well as funding for Maori social housing providers, and greater focus on rural housing,” says Mrs Turia.

Dr Pita Sharples, MP for Tamaki Makaurau says, “The Maori Party is clear that our role is to retain and support initiatives that generations before us have put in place, while also advancing Maori development across new territories, new horizons, and new opportunities.”

“In today’s Budget, we have delivered. There is extra support for long-standing initiatives such as iwi radio and archiving of Maori language programmes, but we have also laid the foundation for the future by securing new initiatives such as a Maori Innovation Fund, and funding for Maori sporting and cultural activities. We are proud too, that the significance of kaupapa such as kaitiakitanga have been recognised in practical ways through the emphasis on protecting and improving the quality of our waterways (Te Mana o te Wai),” says Dr Sharples.

Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party Co-leader says, “One of the key victories for Maori in this year’s budget has been securing funding for a Maori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE). Research sits at the heart of the development and growth of our communities, so when funding was cut for the only Maori focussed CoRE currently in place, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, our communities across the country fought to protect and restore Maori research capacity. The Maori Party played a critical role in retaining that infrastructure for the future.”

“We first entered into a Relationship Accord with the National Party in 2008 at the height of a global recession when times were tough, and whanau were hard hit. The last five years have been difficult for our communities, but we are proud that we have played a pivotal role in steering the nation through these tough times and upholding our kaupapa in ways that benefit all. Our view has always been that it does not matter who is in government, Maori need a voice at the table. Today’s budget shows exactly why that is.”

“Budget 2014 demonstrates that with persistent advocacy and fierce determination, we have been able to make progress right across the board,” says Mr Flavell.

ENDS

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