October 06, 2014
Poverty plan from new minister
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says changing the name of his new ministerial portfolio from Maori Affairs to Maori Development signals a more forward-looking approach.
The Waiariki MP picked up the job as the price of the party’s relationship accord with the National-led Government.
He also becomes Minister for Whanau Ora and Associate Minister for Economic Development.
Mr Flavell says he didn't want to be stuck in the old colonial model of Maori affairs, and the new role gives him the freedom to address anything that affects Maori people.
"We've recognised again that issues of poverty affecting our people have got to be addressed and that is why we are going to piggyback off a lot of the recommendations made by the ministerial committee on poverty. We know that Whanau Ora is a way forward that will allow our people to move towards self reliance and there is obviously a link there with economic opportunities," he says.
Mr Flavell says since the election Maori Party members had sent a clear message it was vital for the Maori Party to be in Government so it can help reset the current landscape and deliver more tangible gains for Maori.
Te Ururoa Flavell will be a minister outside cabinet, a position he says gives him the flexibility to vote against the Government when policy differences arise on matters other than confidence and supply.
Inside the cabinet room, Paula Bennett has been promoted to number five in the rankings.
She gives up her social development role to Anne Tolley but keeps local government and picks up state services, social housing and associate finance.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has been promoted to the front bench and picks up transport in addition to his energy and associate climate change portfolios.
Attorney General Chris Finlayson will continue as Minister for Treaty Negotiations as well as Associate Minister for Maori Affairs, where he is driving the review of Te Ture Whenua Maori land Act.
Hekia Parata remains in charge of education.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH TE URUROA FLAVELL CLICK ON THE LINK
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com