May 27, 2016
Maori Party chalks up Budget wins
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says this year’s budget should help alleviate the stress and hardship felt by many vulnerable whanau … and goes some way to re-establishing a service delivery capacity in the Ministry for Maori Development.
Bill English’s eighth Budget included another $40 million for Whanau Ora over the next four years, $34 million to support Maori language including a $10 million upgrade of Maori Television’s technology, $14 million for the Maori Housing Network run by Te Puni Kokiri, and $14 million to develop a Maori Land Service, also within Te Puni Kokiri.
There’s also money to increase Maori voter participation and for local commemorations of the New Zealand Wars of the 1800s.
And Te Matatini gets a $700,000 boost, bringing funding for kapa haka to $1.9 million a year.
Mrs Fox says the party has been trying to reverse two decades where Te Puni Kokiri was solely a policy agency and Maori were expected to get services through mainstream agencies.
"We’ve gone from a tiny budget, trying to claw back to the heyday of what was Maori Affairs so it can be the one stop shop for whanau again if they need support," she says.
Mrs Fox says getting everything on the Maori Party wish list would cost $20 billion, but it got as much as it could out of the Government for Maori whanau.
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