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Maori families will be among hardest hit by ETS

19 November 2009
Media Statement

Maori families will be among the hardest hit by ETS

Lower income Maori households will be amongst the hardest hit by the ETS deal, as they are forced to pay more taxes to subsidise big polluters while much- needed social spending is slashed, says Labour MPs Charles Chauvel and Mita Ririnui.

The MPs today met members of OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate and Health, a group of senior doctors and other health professionals who describe the proposed legislation as a fiasco, believe firmer action on climate change is needed and are particularly concerned about its impact on vulnerable communities.

“Group co-convenor Dr Rhys Jones, an Auckland University senior lecturer in Maori Health, has been particularly critical about the very negative impact of the National/Maori Party deal on the health of Maori communities, echoing Labour’s concerns,” says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

“The Maori Party has simply traded away critical spending in areas such as health and education to prop up big corporates – both Maori and Pakeha – at the expense of the ordinary Maori household.

“Even National believes the Maori Party has signed up for little more than crumbs, with Prime Minister John Key yesterday describing the Maori Party gains as ‘very insignificant’,” Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Mita Ririnui says.

“The Maori Party talks about the importance of whanau ora – but the ETS deal completely flies in the face of this. Aside from reduced social spending, the deal will imposes huge costs on individual Maori households, the vast majority of which are likely to get little or no benefit from any forestry deals.

“Adding insult to injury, Maori communities have higher numbers of rangatahi than other communities, which means they will carry a disproportionate share of the burden. The Maori Party’s decision to sign up to this deal will cost not just this, but future generations of Maori. It’s time it called a halt to this shambles,” Mita Ririnui said.

ENDS

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