December 12, 2016
Bennett blind to Maori needs
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell doesn’t expect having a Maori deputy prime will have much of an impact on Maori.
Paula Bennett was confirmed today as number two to new Prime Minister Bill English, as the National caucus moved quickly to close up the gaps opened by John Key’s decision to shift to the back benches.
Mr Flavell says he sent a note congratulating Mrs Bennett, who has Tainui whakapapa through her paternal grandmother.
He says it’s not a connection that showed up in her approach to portfolios like social development and housing, even though that’s where a lot of the need was.
"Does she have an understanding of things Maori ? probably not. Her heart might be there but just because of her background and, that's no disresepect to her I think she even shared that, that she's very much been through a different life than many and in terms of te ao Maori probably doesn't know too much about that," he says.
Te Ururoa Flavell says he’s looking forward to working with the English-Bennett team.
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