Waatea News Column: Māori are the only real winners in Well Being Budget


Peel back the hype, and the vast increases in public spend are actually a recycling of old money.

Labour promised this budget would be ‘transformational’, unfortunately this is only true if you define ‘transformational’ as well as Treasury define ‘hack’.

Yes, it’s a great first step to broaden how we value well being over never ending growth, yes the desperately creaking social infrastructure will get propped back into place, yes the very worst off will be marginally better off, but the vast majority of New Zealanders in need will still be needing.

If there is any winner in this budget, it’s Māori.

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  • $116 million for Whānau Ora
  • $98 million for Māori and whānau in Prisons
  • $61 million in Māori mental health
  • $40 million in papakainga development
  • $49 million for Mana in Mahi
  • $100 million investment in whenua Māori
  • $32million boost for Kōhanga Reo

Māori put their trust into Labour at the last election by handing them all the Māori electorates plus an enormous boost in the Party list vote from Māori on the General roll, this budget rewards that faith.

The Māori Caucus should be applauded, because there is little else to cheer.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. And so finally our people have been rewarded for being loyal to the Labour party. We are the ones most marginalised in our own country i have seen it first hand in many of our poorer communities. These are communities where our Maori whanau are over represented in negative stats in all areas of life. I work in public health and i know our primary health services aren’t up to par and neither are our secondary health services (hospitals) too many people are dying unnecessary and prematurely.

  2. Finally we are being rewarded for voting for Labour hooray! still lots to do lets get on and do it never mind all the distractions

  3. Here’s hoping that Stuff’s Carmen Parahi reads this, after attacking Labour’s Maori ministers, 17/4/19, headlining, “Labour’s Maori Ministers have achieved little for their people.”

    Perhaps Parahi doesn’t understand how Parliament works, suggesting,
    “… the Government has preferred universal rather than targeted policies for Māori, an approach more aligned with NZ First’s philosophy.”

    Kelvin Davis rejected suggestions his Government is failing to deliver for Māori and is focused on universal funding.

    “We work as a coalition government, we make decisions together through Cabinet,” he says.

    “There are some things Māori are a part of and some things that are specific. So no, it’s not just universality.”

    And this Waatea News report suggests that Parahi was just plain wrong, and that Maori have done well after all, via the coalition cabinet’s approach.

  4. Carmen parahi she can run them down as much as she likes who cares she doesn’t know what she is talking about

    • I like Kelvin Davis, I like his quiet and measured approach, but one of the loony legacies of the Key years, is a media which expects politicians to be show ponies and big top acrobats – and right now a week without Bridges as circus clown would be worth coughing up for. If I knew his Mum I’d ask her to shut him up, but I don’t, so I can’t.

  5. Don’t know what most of the organisations are that you have shown Martyn and or what they do, but I hope all that money is used wisely and to the benefit of ordinary Maori people that so badly need help. Isn’t it funny that this level of support didn’t happen with the National Government, (just had a horrific thought – Simon Bridges is Maori so will he stick his hand out for some of this, probably). Anyway I’m very happy that this has finally happened, us white fellas all to readily display Maori culture for our benefit whenever it suits, it is good to see some appreciation going the other way. I’d say something in Maori if I knew how, but I don’t.

    • Well, Greenbus, National can’t plead ignorance for failing to support homeless Maori and non-Maori, because back in 2016, Hurimoana Dennis from the Te Puea Marae showed them – not just told them – but he showed them how to help homeless people, and address the associated problems which homeless folk so often have. Other marae soon followed suit.

      In return, Nat Minister Paula Bennett’s office, leaked to the media, that Dennis was on leave from the NZ Police, pending investigation of a family matter. I thought, “What a nasty woman.”

      (I didn’t really, I thought, “What a bitch,” but don’t tell anyone.)

      The Nats have never outgrown the leaking accidents usually, but clearly not always, associated with toilet-training. It is now such a standard National modus operandi that they cannot even look at themselves in the mirror without wondering, “Can I trust this person ?” Sad.

  6. As far as I am concerned any Maori that vote for national are either stupid or very rich. National have shown they don’t care but they do care about themselves and money unfortunately some state servants are the same they shouldn’t be in the roles they occupy because they are not suited for the job and they do not care about those they are suppose to look after.

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