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Maori Party finally puts tamariki first

Hon Parekura Horomia
Minister of Mäori Affairs

13 March 2007 Media Statement

Maori Party finally puts tamariki first

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has welcomed the Maori Party's decision to support the repeal of Section 59, saying he's glad that after wavering they've decided to put tamariki first.

Mr Horomia yesterday challenged the party's MPs to do the right thing, instead of trying to seize the limelight and turn the issue into a political football.

``I'm pleased they have finally taken the right moral stand and stood up for everything that whanaungatanga, one of their guiding kaupapa, actually embodies.''

``I've been clear from the start of this debate that Maori in particular had to demonstrate leadership on this issue.''

``Many of us, including myself, grew up getting regular hidings and this was considered a normal part of New Zealand culture. ''

But our women and children are too often the victims of domestic violence, sometimes horrific.

We need to continue to educate our communities about other, more successful ways of disciplining our children, he says.

In 2004 the Government launched the SKIP campaign designed to give parents of pre-schoolers a range of effective strategies, based on love, nurture and defining clear boundaries, to help guide children as they grow into adulthood.

Mr Horomia says this and other similar initiatives should be utilised by parents and community groups seeking more tools to protect our tamariki.


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