NZ Maori Council calls on National Leader to apologize; Reminds National it failed Maori
The New Zealand Maori Council has called on National Party Leader, Simon Bridges, to apologize to the Tokelauan people, who are also citizens of New Zealand, for his comments alluding to their irrelevance. Matthew Tukaki, Council Executive Director has also said Bridges needs to do a bit of soul searching when it comes to his previous Governments treatment of Maori.
“What this man said about a whole section of New Zealand citizens is an absolute disgrace but also highlights his performance on all issues related to Iwi Maori. Let me be really clear here; Bridges was a member of a nine year old Government whereby our people resembled more of a third world population. It was under his Governments watch that gave rise record numbers of Maori committing suicide. It was under his Governments watch that homeless numbers rose, the health system began to falter under the weight of financial mismanagement, that PHARMAC became a laughing joke, that more of our children than ever were taken by the State.” Tukaki said
“What Bridges continues to do is actually have no real strategy of engagement with Iwi Maori and sure as hell doesn’t engage with us. When was the last hui he came to and listened to Maori concerns? When was the last time he sat down and talked with Maori about both the challenges and opportunities we face? I’d also remind the leader of the National Party that going into 2020 there appears to be no Maori strategy at all.” Tukaki said
“At Waitangi the Prime Minister told Maori to hold her Government to account when it came to Maori affairs and that is exactly what this Maori Council has been doing. Let’s face it a lot of our people are not exactly happy with the state of Maori Affairs under this Governments watch – but what we must do and should do is not only hold the current Government to account we must hold the previous one to account for the fact they presided over a race to the peak when it came to social detriments impacting our people.” Tukaki said
“All of the political parties need to understand that their tired old business models of dealing in the world of Maori affairs has not worked for more than 150 years because actually not much has changed. It’s time we entered into a new era of Maori Crown relations so we can actually move forward.” Tukaki said
“And it starts with an apology from Bridges and the need to stop the rhetoric and blow ass behavior and get on with resolving the issues that confront us.” Tukaki said
“Across the parties, and moving forward, we need to strengthen Maori Crown relations and our focus must be around hope, aspiration and opportunity for our people – in fact that should be the case for all New Zealanders.” Tukaki said