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Mahara Okeroa Budget 2002 speech to the House

Mahara Okeroa Media Statement
Labour MP for Te Tai Tonga
Friday, 24 May 2002

Budget 2002 speech to the House


Mr Speaker I wish to join my colleagues in this very sad day to help commiserate the National Party who have been dealt a hand of cards which has caused them to be euchred and from what I have observed this morning they are in a period of mourning – aue taukuri e.

This budget has got them stuffed.

The behaviour they have indulged in over the period that they held the economic reigns has caught up with them.

They are now a group who have reinvented the notion of youth where they clear out a young person Bri Anne Knee Son with an older Don Brer Ash as they commit themselves to younger faces. Confusion reigns Mr Speaker.

The real National Party leader Michael Beau Agg has used flawed P. R. skills to fool the faithful in the National Party.

Their Parliamentary Leader in the Blue Corner, the pugilistic Bill, “The Desperate Southern Man” English is in a quandary.

Does he do the honourable thing and ride out in to the setting sun, or is punching Bill about to throw in the towel, or will he throw the fight?

Is he suffering from loss of memory with the sparring he has been doing lately? Is he forgetting simple tasks?

What motions has he not passed recently? Will he remember to wipe up any spills?

The Beau Agg party all seem to have suffered memory loss. They have forgotten the sort of deception they used when they presented their budgets in years past. Nothing positive happened during their stewardship.

What I need to remind them of Mr Speaker is that we got cowboys like Bill building houses made of polyurethaned weet bix and being well rewarded for it.

Houses built in the 90’s, which are now falling apart. That is the legacy of their budgets.

Mr Speaker this Budget is not the lolly scramble, which we have been used to by the Michael Beau Ag Party.

This is a responsible budget, which challenges all of us to look at how we use what we currently have for the benefit of all people in Aotearoa. It is not a budget, which inequitably favours any one group.

It is fair, it is equitable and above all it affirms democracy and an inclusive society and it gives hope.

It is a budget, which looks to the future, it goes beyond the “3 year vote me back in budgets” of the previous administration.

It has been said that this budget is a disgrace to Maori. Our whanaunga Georgina Te Heu heu wants to hear the word Maori mentioned more than once.

She complained of this, this morning. She says she only heard the word once.

If trotting out the word Maori a number of times is her indicator of concern for Maori then this country is in trouble. It will stutter along as it did when Georgina and her mates held power.

We used to hear a lot of the word Maori when she was on the Treasury benches but that was all that occurred – rhetoric – there was little substance and our people know of the empty promises of the Micheal Beau Agg party.

It appears the only capacity building Georgina knows about is the capacity of her erstwhile leader “pugilistic Bill’s” vain attempts to build support by throwing punches in the ring.

I applaud this budget because it is indicative of a government showing that it is serious about addressing the inequities created by people like Lockwood “Quizmaster” Smith and his cousin “In The Nick” Smith architects of the creation of poverty.

Mr Speaker this government believes and this budget indicates that long-term economic and social development will not be sacrificed by short-term political expediency.

The people know when strong leaders are around. Leaders such as the Prime Minister Helen Clarke and my colleague the Minister of Maori affairs the Honourable, Parekura Horomia.

A man of many talents, a man capable of repairing the whariki, the social and economic fabric of tangatawhenua torn by the Beau Ag party. A man who is able to identify the complex forces of dysfunction.

Dysfunction of systems of omission created by those other than tangatawhenua.

Systems of omission which guaranteed that we tangatawhenua were only to be passive recipients of a largesse which was largely illusionary.

The illusion Mr Speaker is over. The cold winds of reality have been revealed by a government such as the one I am happy to be a part of.

The patronising paternalistic behaviour of the previous administration is at an end.

This government means government by the people not government by the privileged. We have no funds to hide, our accounts are open and they have been revealed by a treasurer, who is a compassionate champion of the people.

We have been open. Nothing is hidden away, there are no surprises, there is only honesty and truth. And Mr Speaker the people know this.

They know the trickle down theory does not work for them. I know Mr Speaker the people are embracing the notion of bottom up solutions.

The Beau Ag party is in shock, they are in deep denial, they are about to haemorrhage, they are staring at a reality which will lead their being ko’d.


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