Labour Betrays Maori, Again – Hone Harawira

Press Release – Mana Party

“You’d think that after the Foreshore and Seabed debacle, Labour would be wary about betraying Maori again” said MANA leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “but that’s exactly what raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 does”Labour Betrays Maori, Again

“You’d think that after the Foreshore and Seabed debacle, Labour would be wary about betraying Maori again” said MANA leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “but that’s exactly what raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 does”

The director of Massey University’s Research Centre for Maori Health and Development, Professor Chris Cunningham, said Maori already had a shorter life expectancy and that Labour’s proposal to raise the superannuation age would clearly disadvantage them.

His comments were backed up by Professor Natalie Jackson from Waikato University’s Demographic Studies Centre who pointed out that the current superannuation policy was highly prejudicial against Maori and that Labour’s plans would make that far worse.

“On current trends, 19 out of every 20 Maori will pay taxes all their lives and then die before they get the pension” said Harawira. “That’s a criminal bloody outrage that no society should accept, and yet by raising the retirement age from 65 to 67, Labour will ensure that even fewer Maori would live to get superannuation.”

Harawira said that the lesson for Maori was a simple one – both Labour and National had the interests of the wealthy at heart, not the interests of those at the bottom of society.

“MANA can’t just sit quiet on this. We want the retirement age for Maori lowered from 65 to 60, until such time as statistics prove that Maori live to the same age as non-Maori”

Harawira added that government should also look at the impact of poverty on life expectancy as a factor in claiming a pension earlier as well.

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