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Kātene welcomes child poverty report


Rāhui Kātene
MP for Te Tai Tonga
Māori Party Deputy Whip
Tuesday 13 September 2011

Kātene welcomes child poverty report

Māori Party MP Rāhui Kātene has welcomed the release of the Child Action Poverty Group report Left further behind: how policies fail the poorest children in New Zealand.

“This report is very timely and is a poignant reminder of past failed policies and their consequences for our tamariki mokopuna” said Mrs Kātene. “I was especially struck by the statement that child poverty is not unavoidable, it is the result of successive government policies. We can and must eliminate child poverty now.”

The report outlines issues affecting New Zealand children such as incomes, health, housing, education, parental support, social hazards and the lack of job opportunities for youth.

The Māori Party is determined to eliminate child poverty by 2014, and its policies include:

• the removal of GST from healthy food
• no income tax on the first $25,000
• a $15 minimum wage
• in-work tax credits extended to all families, and
• an official poverty measure

“New Zealand does not have an official poverty measure, so it has been difficult to know how many people actually live in poverty. Once we have a measure of what poverty is, who is living in poverty, why they are living in poverty, and what disadvantages those living in poverty endure, only then can government policies effectively target the elimination of poverty in Aotearoa.”

"We also note the importance the report places on Whanau Ora as being a key opportunity to "effect real decision-making power over social outcomes for Māori as well as improving those social outcomes for Māori". The Maori Party concurs with the report that it is not a case of either/or. We must sustain and increase our investment in Whanau Ora while at the same time we must give priority to address the disadvantage experienced by Maori from ongoing income inequalities"

“We welcome the release of this report along with the key recommendations. We have also committed ourselves to continue to work with the Cross-Party Parliamentary Group on Child Poverty, which I co-chair.”

“The Māori Party has always advocated on this important issue of child poverty. This is not a new issue for Māori who continue to bear the brunt of past failed government policies. We look forward to exploring and implementing solutions to poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand.”


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