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Maori Leadership Must Focus On the Crisis In Maori

Monday 5th Jul 1999
Donna Awatere Huata
Media Release -- Social Welfare

ACT Maori Affairs spokesman Donna Awatere Huata today said Maori leadership must stop focusing on the past and get to work on the crisis Maori families are facing in the present.

Mrs Huata said she fully supported the statements of Merepeka Raukawa-Tait that senior Maori leaders were spending too much time on tribal economic issues and ignoring a social crisis facing Maori families.

"The truth is our social crisis is undermining our economic development.

"It's about time we gave our leaders a rev up in this area. While our leaders are spending their time in Wellington with politicians and bureaucrats, the babies of their tribes face the reality of the lack of leadership.

"I want to see our tribal leaders speaking out about our teenage girls who are having babies and then staying on the benefit to have more babies. I want to hear their plans to get our young women educated and reaching their full potential. I want to see them telling our young men that if they have a baby, they stick with that child for the rest of its life.

"Our leaders focus on the past and any settlement they get from the Government will do nothing to lift struggling Maori off the bottom of the pile. What will be a tremendous help is for Maori leadership to start confronting head on the real problems our babies are facing.

"Maori families are in crisis and until we take back responsibility for strengthening our families from the Government we will not give our babies the start in life they deserve," said Donna Awatere Huata.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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