December 30, 2014
Housing fund put under TPK
She may be their first Dame, but the Maori Party is upset Tariana Turia is fighting to preserve her political legacy.
President Naida Glavish says the party’s former co-leader needs to leave political decisions to her successors, and not to try to interfere.
Dame Tariana has slammed the move by new Housing Minister Nick Smith to reverse her decision in July to give the North Island Whanau Ora commissioning agency Te Pou Matakana responsibility for administering Kainga Whenua infrastructure grants and the Maori Housing Fund to support Maori housing development.
That money for Maori social housing will now come under Te Puni Kokiri.
Dame Tariana says it’s against all the principles of whanau ora, and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should have fought to keep the money away from state control.
Ms Glavish says Dame Tariana had unfairly criticised Mr Flavell, because the decision was made by cabinet in line with a recommendation by the Auditor General that there should be a single point of contact for Maori who want to build housing on their land.
"We would all hate to see Whaea Tariana detract from her own mana and spoil her distinguished record of service to our people and our party by failing to realize that it was her own decision to leave Parliament, which necessarily meant passing over the reins to her successors," Ms Glavish says.
"Our party has full confidence in our new Parliamentary co-leadership of Minister Flavell and MP Marama Fox. Times change in politics; new challenges arise, as demonstrated by the change in the title of Te Ururoa’s portfolio from Maori Affairs to Maori Development. As Minister in charge of both TPK and Whanau Ora, he is the one who has been saddled with accountability for the multi-millions of dollars allocated for Maori social housing.
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