7 December 2016 MEDIA STATEMENT
Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori that goes with it, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“Te Ururoa Flavell’s glowing assessment of the National Government and Marama Fox’s effusive endorsement of Bill English to take over as Prime Minister makes it clear just how strong their support is for National.
“Te Ururoa Flavell even praised the National Government as helping secure gains for Māori in the last eight years.
“Things have gone backwards for Māori under a National Government propped up by the Māori Party.
“Over 15,000 more Māori are receiving a benefit than when National took office. Māori as a percentage of total prison population has increased by nearly five per cent since 2008.
“Māori are disproportionately suffering unemployment, unaffordable rents and low wages. Home ownership amongst Māori has plummeted.
“Rising inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent.
“Meanwhile, the Government is pushing through highly unpopular Māori land reforms and overseeing the hollowing out of the Māori Land Court.
“If the Māori Party were serious about improving the lives of our people they would advocate strongly for a change of government, not celebrate the ‘mana-enhancing relationship’ between them and National.
“Make no mistake; the Māori Party wants National to hold on to the Treasury benches.
“Only a vote for Labour will change the Government and see positive policies for Māori,” says Meka Whaitiri.