New Zealand Maori Council has warned the Government they need to get back on track with Maori policies and expectations
Government has failed Maori across the board
“A lot of our people will be disappointed that the expectation of this Government, set so high, is not translating. Their needs to be a reset between the Government and Maori and the Government needs to start setting specific timelines and engagement with our people when it comes to mental health, suicide prevention, whanau ora and more. The harsh reality we expected a significant increase in whanau ora funding last budget – it didn’t happen. Instead there was a review that made recommendations. Yet; in this budget we do not see the scale of investment many had expected.” Tukaki said
“Then there is suicide prevention and mental health. The Government new when they came to office what needed to be done. I sat down with Annette King and Damian O’Connor before the election and mapped it out thanks to my experience as Chair of Suicide Prevention Australia. When they came to Government I sat down with the Minister, David Clark, and reiterated those points, put forward proposals and held a meeting with the Director General of Health. Nothing happened. Then there was an Inquiry. And nothing happened. Now we have the announcements, and many are a mirror image of what was stated clearly at the beginning and it will be months if not years for the first round of recommendations to be implemented. Here is the thing. Another nearly 1,000 New Zealanders over that more than 18 months would have taken their lives and an estimated more than 20,000 would have made an attempt.” Tukaki said
“We have a raft of Waitangi Tribunal reports left unresponded to by the Government, we have an education system in a mess. We have a Minister of Health running a protection racket for PHARMAC when the CEO admits Maori are less likely to be able to afford life saving and extending medications.” Tukaki said.
“Our Maori nurses are paid less than 25% than their DHB counterparts, our midwives are struggling and kohanga workforce are hitting the wall.” Tukaki said
“So has the Government responded to Maori needs? Has it met our expectations? I think many of our people will be deeply disappointed in the Government. But; they remain hopeful in their Maori MP’s – just not in the Government.” Tukaki said
“The Government needs to take a hard cold look at the barriers to action – and the major one has to be the system of delivery. Its one thing for the Government to say this is what they are doing its another thing for the Public Service to deliver.” Tukaki said