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Entrenched poverty shocks candidate

Entrenched poverty in Ikaroa-Rawhiti shocks Maori Party Derek Tini Fox

Candidate for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Tuesday 4 November 2008

"The burden of nine years of failed government policies is falling on the young and the poor" says Ikaroa-Rawhiti Maori Party candidate Derek Fox.

"In the last four days as I have walked the streets in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate I have despaired at the high number of Maori children especially in the Napier/Hastings area who are either truanting or not attending school. A truancy officer in Maraenui told me today, that 89% of Maori children at any one time are not attending school. This is totally unacceptable."

"I am shocked by what I have seen as we have taken our message to the people. A message of hope into what appears to be a sea of hopelessness" added Mr Fox.

"After nine years on the Treasury benches Minister Horomia boasts in local papers that there are only 800 unemployed in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate. He is obviously counting his version of the WINZ unemployment benefit statistics, not actual people.

“Since we started a tour through Ikaroa-Rawhiti from Te Araroa last Sunday, our team has met more than 800 unemployed people, and we have not even reached the Wairarapa or the Hutt Valley yet," said Derek Fox.

“I wonder when the Minister last walked the streets of Maraenui and Flaxmere and listened to the people, rather than preaching to them about how good his government has been to Maori.

“We have a Minister quoting his official’s figures and painting a glowing picture, but what we have seen are the cold, harsh realities of many whanau. The two pictures are just not fitting."

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"Are streets of despair, sub-standard houses, non-attendance at school and a future on a benefit without hope, good for Maori? I don't think so" said Derek Fox.

"The Maori Party will do the hard yards, to listen to the people, to do the work, to resource local communities to seek out local solutions and to implement them."

"The Minister and his government have failed to do that, because they do not believe the people know the solutions, they do not trust our communities. We trust our people. We trust our people and judging from the responses I have been getting, they trust us," ended Mr Fox.


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