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Whanau Ora A “Race-Based Benefit Regime” Says Ngapuhi Leader

Whanau Ora A “Race-Based Benefit Regime” Says Ngapuhi Leader

Chairman of the Hone Heke Foundation, David Rankin, says that recent media scrutiny of the Government’s Whanau Ora policy only reaches the tip of the iceberg, and claims that the policy has done little more than create a new tier of Maori bureaucracy .

“The Whanau Ora policy has created a new, race-based benefit tier,” he says. “If you are Maori living in Kaitaia and want to travel to Auckland to visit whanau members there, you will be funded for the bus fare, for meals, and be given an accommodation allowance. If you are Pakeha in Kaitaia and what to visit family in Auckland, tough, you have to pay for it yourself. This is pure racism.”

Mr Rankin is unapologetic about describing the policy as a race-based benefit, pointing out that it offers benefit streams to one group of New Zealanders while denying them to others.

However, he predicts the policy will not last. “The tide of public opinion is turning against many Maori initiatives. The Waitangi Tribunal will be the first target and Whanau Ora is also in line for attack. Unfortunately, our Maori MPs do not see the damage they are doing to our people”.

When asked what could be done to help Maori improve their socio economic circumstances, Mr Rankin responded: ‘that’s simple – get rid of the carrot and show the stick. If people cannot demonstrate that they are taking responsibility for their actions, then their entitlement to benefits should be revisited.”

ENDS

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