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Whanau Ora Spokesperson Responds to Green Paper Release

The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader

27 July 2011

Maori Party Co-Leader, Whanau Ora Spokesperson, Responds to Green Paper Release

“The Maori Party will support any initiative that enables tamariki to be the best that they can be. This is, after all, the basis for Whanau Ora.

“It can be very simple. Many whanau don’t need a Government strategy to tell them how best to raise children. What we need is to trust whanau to create their own solutions that focus on the wellbeing of their tamariki” .

“We start from a premise that the Maori child must not be viewed in isolation, but as a member of whanau, hapu and iwi. We must capitalise on the strengths of the wider group to facilitate the best care of all of our children”.

“Of course we welcome any initiative by Government to think about strategies that enable every child to thrive, to belong and to achieve; and we will be watching progress on this paper closely, to see how these strategies are going to be put into policy and then carried out in communities”

“What this paper demonstrates, is that there are many significant issues that affect children, and particularly poverty. It is sobering to read in a Government paper, that nearly 20% of New Zealand children live in poverty. The statistics also reinforce that child poverty is a greater issue for many Maori, Pasifika and refugee communities”.

The Maori Party is pleased that the Government has acknowledged that poverty is a major issue for the future of Aotearoa. We need to be bold and find solutions to lifting the income levels of our most vulnerable families, and the Maori Party will continue to work with the Government to ensure priority remains on the elimination of poverty”.

“We encourage all of our whanau to engage with this Green Paper, and bring their issues back to us, so that we can influence any actions that emerge”.

ENDS

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