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Wellbeing Budget 2021: Te Pāti MāorI Cautiously Optimistic

Te Pāti Māori are cautiously optimistic about the announcement of the Wellbeing Budget today.

“We acknowledge the work that has gone into the development of this budget, particularly the effort by our Māori Ministers which has seen one of the most significant increases into the Māori economy,” said Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“Our unapologetic voice in Opposition has given Māori in Government the kaha to fight for more and this budget is a reflection of that.

“Its the first time we have seen a budget that has accepted a need to take a targeted approach rather than a universal one.

“In the bigger scheme of things, this budget presents a signficant win for Māori, the fact that it is such a great budget is the very problem because we are building from a shockingly low baseline” said Ngarewa-Packer.

“Whilst we see this Recovery budget as a step in the right direction for Māori, we remain cautious. The big question is who will be responsible for the delivery of these initiatives?,” said Rawiri Waititi.

“More money is not always the answer. We seek for our people to be at the decision making table with regard to resource allocation rather than being the recipient of. These are our rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

“The key is to not allow ourselves to become intoxicated by the euphoria of the million dollar signs and look at the gains from a perspective of proportionality.

“Last year Māori received 0.3% of the budget for by Māori to Māori approaches. This budget announcement sees an increase of 0.07% to 0.37% going to Maori.

“The Māori Health Authority has received $240 million, which also equates 0.3% of the total Health budget so it is a more sobering view when you look at it from this perspective,” said Waititi.

“We are particlularly puzzled that Whānau Ora received no additional funding, given that the Minister is on record saying it is the highest performing portfolio in government,” said Ngarewa-Packer

“Te Tiriti o Waitangi demands that Tangata Whenua secure 50% of all the resource and decision making power. Equality demands that Tangata Whenua secure 16% of all the resource and decision making power. Equity demands that Tangata Whenua secure 25% of the lions share” said Waititi.

“On every level of those indicators, we fall short.

“Whilst this budget is a significant move in the right direction, we will continue to apply pressure, to keep the government accountable, to end disparity, poverty and environmental destruction,” said Mr Waititi.

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