Press Release – Mana Party
News this morning that Paula Bennett has no ongoing commitment to Whanau Ora shows the Maori Party has been totally suckered by National, says Mana’s Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford ‘The Maori Party has supported a Government which has …
Monday 14 November 2011
Nats betray Maori Party on Whanau Ora
News this morning that Paula Bennett has no ongoing commitment to Whanau Ora shows the Maori Party has been totally suckered by National, says Mana’s Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford
‘The Maori Party has supported a Government which has made the most vicious attacks on low income Maori since the Shipley era.
‘National’s welfare changes last year and proposals for more in 2012 are aimed at harassing people on benefits to the point where they can’t stand it anymore and exit the system – no matter that they are left with no legal or sufficient means of survival.
‘While the Maori Party has seen their flagship Whanau Ora policy as a major health and welfare breakthrough for Maori, Paula Bennett has been cynically using it as cover for policies that have seen access to state housing reduced, GST increased, the emergence of epidemics of third world diseases in poor areas, job opportunities slashed, and a programme of harassment and intimidation of beneficiaries.
‘Now Paula Bennett reveals that National has no future commitment to Whanau Ora so the Maori Party’s sacrifice of its poorest supporters was all in vain.
‘Whanau Ora was funded with money taken from other social services programmes with proven track records.
‘Current providers have also invested huge amounts of time and money in getting programmes up and running.
‘It will be hugely wasteful and disruptive if National unilaterally cuts Whanau Ora just when it’s getting going.
‘If the programme is now cut just as it’s beginning to really come on stream, it will prove that the whole exercise has simply been an opportunistic shambles.
‘This also shows what happens when minor political parties desert their principles and cuddle up to National because they think being in the same room with them will bring some kind of advantage to their constituency.