Maori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples is disappointed at the obvious omissions from the Prime Minister’s State of the Nation speech this afternoon.
“This was not a speech about the health of this nation – it was almost exclusively about the economy and budgetary matters,” said Dr Sharples.
“There was nothing said about the well-being of our nations peoples.
“I didn’t see the word poverty – even though the government has set up a Ministerial inquiry into poverty.
“The Treaty was not mentioned once – even though we have already begun to review the constitution of Aotearoa.
“And there was no reference to Maori in his speech – so our people must see that only the Maori Party in Parliament is able to bring their most important issues before the House of Representatives and the Government.
He must know that getting the economy and budgetary matters right is the only way to pay for education, health and other services and boost employment and that those are the only way to alleviate poverty.
He also ought to know that when the Prime Minister talks about New Zealanders he means all of us and that it is not necessary to single out any particular group.
This speech, like yesterday’s threat to walk away from the Maori Party’s coalition agreement with the government, was chest-beating for a constituency.
He and his co-leader Tariana Turia can’t possibly have forgotten the message they gave voters during the election campaign — that you can’t achieve anything in opposition.
But they are on dangerous ground because their grandstanding will not appeal to all Maori.
Iwi with money to invest are keen to take up the opportunities provided by the partial sale off state assets.
In playing to the poor-me gallery Sharples and Turia are foolishly overlooking the other gallery full of people keen to stand on their own feet.
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