May 17, 2020
Scope to expand Budget Maori spend
The New Zealand Māori Council is encouraging iwi and Māori organisations to look beyond the $900 million headline Māori spend in the Budget as they put their plans together for recovery from COVID-19.
Executive director Matthew Tukaki says Māori did well out of the budget, from big ticket items like the $200 million jobs package and the extra money for kōhanga reo, to smaller allocations for the Waitangi National Trust, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute and Te Matatini.
There’s also an opportunity to rethink the approach to Māori housing, with $40 million going into the Te Maihi o te Whare Māori framework, up from the $10 million for papakainga in last year’s Budget.
"Then when we add in the money for housing more generally, so 6000 state houses and 2000 transitional houses, there is now a debate raging about how much of that money, the hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, can actually be unlocked for papakainga housing, so instead of being a state house, it could be a papakainga housing development," he says.
Matthew Tukaki says there is still $20 billion of the COVID response funding unallocated, and Māori will have a chance to make a case about how some of that can be spent.
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