Māori Party Announce Whānau First Policy On COVID-19 Economic Recovery

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Māori Party Co-leaders John Tamihere and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer have today announced their party’s flagship election policy, Whānau First, at its national campaign launch at Hoani Waititi Marae in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The Whānau First policy demands Māori equity and equality in COVID-19 economic recovery. The policy, modelled off affirmative action programmes overseas, will help reverse decades of discrimination and disadvantage.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted major racism and inequity that impacts on wellbeing and the ability to feed our whānau,” said John Tamihere.

“The evidence for this across the whole of government is best identified by our unemployment status in our own country. We cannot tolerate a post-COVID environment that makes our whānau lives worse than they were pre-COVID.

“There was no government Māori pandemic response plan. Māori leadership across the country stood up and filled this gap, led out by hapū, iwi and Whānau Ora Collectives up and down the country. Our own mana motuhake systems proved themselves,” said Mr Tamihere.

“Māori as tangata whenua demand that our right to equality and equity be applied in all postCOVID recovery programming and funding,” said Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“If we are to ensure the COVID-19 recovery period improves the situation for our people rather than worsens it, then it’s essential that we stop government’s systemic racism and put in place policies that put our Whānau First.

“Māori must be guaranteed resources for Māori recovery, we cannot go backwards to how we were living pre-COVID – that is not an option for our whānau, too many of whom are struggling just to survive,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.

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In summary, the policy will:

• Confirm that all government funding for projects over the next two years guarantee 25% Māori direct resourcing combining the delivery of a Māori workforce and the services of owned businesses and organisations.

• Confirm that 25% of all projects will be Māori-led recovery projects and business recovery initiatives that partner with hapū, iwi and Māori organisations and Māori-led businesses.

• Guarantee that 25% of all government projects that are prioritised through the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) legislation partner with hapū, iwi and Māori organisations and businesses.

• Emphasise that all COVID-19 recovery bodies reflect the Te Tiriti relationship in their structure and membership.

• Reinforce that COVID-19 recovery projects must enhance the mana o te whenua, the mana o te wai, mana o te moana and protect wāhi tapu, rights and interests of natural environment. The Māori Party will be announcing further policy priorities during the campaign