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NZ Maori Council applauds more Maori in Cabinet – history made with Nanaia Mahuta

The New Zealand Maori Council has welcomed the make-up of the new Cabinet and Government and has urged Ministers to get to work. Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council also said that while he was disappointed not to see Kelvin Davis take on the Deputy Prime Ministership the reality is “about the need to focus on the key priority areas that impact Maori.”

Mr Tukaki also welcomed the ascendancy of Marama Davidson to the Ministry with the task of domestic and sexual violence as well as homelessness:

“The Government has been blessed with a plethora of talent from within the Maori Caucus and the expectations of Maori are very high – that includes the need to ensure that we have those Maori sitting at the Cabinet table. That table is the decision-making table and Maori have a right to be there.” Tukaki said

“The appointment of Peeni Henare to both lead Defence and continue in his roles of Maori Health and housing is yet another indication of just how much work he has done and much work is left to be done. Peeni has already proven himself as a Minister and I welcome his roles.” Tukaki said

“The appointment of Nanaia Mahuta to the role of Foreign Minister is also very welcomed. I can tell you as someone who has been a former country representative to the United Nations these times require good steady hands on the art of diplomacy and Nanaia has it in spades – our first female Maori Minister of Foreign Affairs is something to be applauded.” Said Tukaki

“Willie Jackson has been an outstanding performer on behalf of Maori when it comes to jobs and employment and this is going to move into the Cabinet with him as he picks up the portfolio of Maori Development – we have a lot to do and there is no better candidate for the role.” Tukaki said

“While Kelvin has turned down the Deputy Prime Ministership his work on pushing Maori incarceration rates down and stand up the Ministry for Maori Crown Relations it is good to see these continue – but I really look forward to working with him in the role of Minister of Children. We have a lot ot achieve in what has been a tumultuous period in the life of Aotearoa and our Tamariki in State care.” Tukaki said

“I am glad of course to see such a young and capable up and coming Maori leader in the Cabinet as Kiri Allen – her ascendency to the Cabinet is proof that the mahi she has done over the last few years hasn’t just paid off for her but also Maori – and the return of Meka to the Cabinet is also much welcomed. Meka has a significant contribution to make as does Rino Tirakatene.” Tukaki said

“In all reality we have a lot of work to do and that work needs to start today. This is a good outcome for Maori but I can tell you the New Zealand Maori Council will not be holding back when it comes to holding our Ministers and the Government to account – we need to get on top of child poverty, housing and homelessness, the state of our health system, our environment and much more – all on the back of pushing through the economic headwinds of a global pandemic – and push we much. Not just as Maori but as a nation of people striving and aspiring to be all we can be.” Tukaki said


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