July 14, 2020
COVID women’s fund scratches surface of Māori need
The chair of the country’s largest iwi is unimpressed with a new fund to offset the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women and girls.
Women’s Minister Julie Ann Genter says in the first round $2 million will be shared among 155 organisations who provide services such as support for single mothers put out of work; mental health services; support for women experiencing violence; and kaupapa Māori services.
Mere Mangu from Ngāpuhi says despite her rūnanga’s extensive social service capacity and ties to the communities in the north, she has never been contacted by the minister.
"We don’t have a voice. But she has picked out her 155 organisations she can target and say ‘what a good girl am I, I’ve done this,’ but for Ngāpuhi, we don’t register on her agenda, our people are still in the same space they were pre-COVID. Everyone is going on about a recession – well, it doesn’t change the lives of Māori," Ms Mangu says.
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