Budget 2018 garners challenge from Māori Party
The Māori Party says Labour's Māori caucus must fight for more money.
The budget revealed there were no extra dollars for Whānau Ora despite Labour's election pledge it'll increase funding by $20 million.
Che Wilson, Māori Party Co-President, says with the large Labour Māori caucus, the expectation was there would be budget gains for Māori programmes.
“Kei te pōuri te ngākau i te mea, ko tō mātou i roto i ngā tau nei he rua noa iho ngā mema pāremata - engari rahi ake te moni, engari tekau mā toru ngā mema pāremata Māori o roto o Reipa - kāore he hua o roto.”
Treasury has confirmed that the total Māori Development budget is down from last year by $12 million.
Labour MP Willie Jackson promised that whānau would get $20 million in funding.
“Hundreds and thousands of Māori families are going to get an extra $75 in their household and if it does mean that some of our providers have to wait a year or so, then so be it.”
But according to Māori Party Co-President Kaapua Smith emphasises the importance of election promises.
“I just think your word is your bond. The critique on Māori politicians from our people is harsh, but political parties who sell lies to them in an election do not help to rebuild the trust between the Māori population and the government.”
Wilson says the Māori Party has a challenge for Labour's Māori caucus:
“Kia kaha rā koutou he pai te tiaki i te hunga rawakore, he pai hoki te tiaki i ngā mea kāingakore, heoti anō ko te taea te mahi i ngā mea e rua i te mea nui ake ō koutou nama - ngā tāngata i roto i tō koutou pāti.”
The Labour Party says that the gains made in this budget will be manifest: only time will validate that claim.