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Te Pāti Māori: Govt Must Provide Immediate Relief For Flood Affected Whānau

Te Pāti Māori are calling on Prime Minister Chris Hipkins to announce an equity-focused financial relief fund for whānau who have lost homes and belongings in all flood impacted areas across Aotearoa.

“There are thousands of whānau who have been severely impacted by flooding but who don’t have insurance. This is absolutely devastating; many have lost everything” said co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

“We need Prime Minister Hipkins to immediately announce a relief fund that is people-focused and that has equity at its heart.

“We acknowledge that emergency relief payments are available through WINZ for immediate needs like kai, clothing, and bedding, and we encourage our whānau to access those payment cards from emergency relief centres. However, this is already not enough as people grapple with the reality of being homeless and without any possessions because of extreme flooding. Many of these centres have become overwhelmed and are relying on the good will of their community for basics like dry towels and blankets” said co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“Central and local government must accept their own failures in not properly investing in infrastructure and not grappling with the reality of climate adaptation. This is their responsibility.

“Our Te Pāti Māori climate policy from the 2020 election called on the Crown to work with, whānau, hapū and iwi to establish climate change adaptation plans and would have established a fund to support whānau, hapū and iwi with adaptation. Neither of these policies have been adopted” said Ngarewa-Packer.

“Government must meet the full costs of uninsured whānau to replace what they have lost and ensure that whānau have roofs over their heads and everything they need. We need leaders who take care of our people in times of crises instead of leaving them to fend for themselves” Waititi said.

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