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Budget 2014 just crumbs on the table

Māori Affairs Spokesperson


Budget 2014 just crumbs on the table

Budget 2014 has not delivered on an emerging Māori economy,” says Labours Māori Affairs Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.

“First this National-Maori party government cuts funding to New Zealand’s only Maori focused Centre of Excellence. Now we see a U-turn on funding and magically there is a ‘new policy initiative’ that will fund a Maori focused research centre. There isn’t even a guarantee that the funding will go to Nga Pae o te Maramatanga.

“Instead of a focus on our tamariki we see a one-off $1million grant for the Xin and Tane stage with no obvious link to a broader Chinese export market strategy.

“Then a mere $2 million allocation will apparently go towards an innovation fund intended to leverage a $36 billion Maori economy.

“It is crystal clear that the Māori Party promised that there would be big benefits from sitting at National’s table. Budget 2014 makes it clear there would be nothing but crumbs for the Māori economy.

“At a time when iwi would expect to see a plan from a Government seeking a third term in office, this Budget has treated the Māori Vote like electoral capital with the biggest share of the pie going to Whanau Ora.

“National does not have a solution to reverse the widening gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, they have taken a ‘steady as she goes approach’ to the growing levels of inequality and poverty rather than transforming the economic landscape.

“Labour will move our economy from being reliant on the mass production of raw material products like logs towards a value-added economy where we export our products, knowledge and innovation returning more benefits back home.

“Māori want to participate and so the way in which we invest in research, science, innovation, skills transfer and higher education makes a huge difference.

“The Māori Economy under a Labour Government will mean a new way of leveraging opportunity for the benefit of more New Zealanders – that’s a vision worth fighting for.”

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