Hone Harawira’s rhetoric that political parties should ‘feed the kids’ must be challenged says Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.
“Gone are the days when we allow the State to take over the role of families; to encourage whanau to abdicate their responsibilities” said Mrs Turia.
“Our greatest opportunity through Whanau Ora has been that our whanau are able to inspire the nation and act as a beacon of hope for our own solutions” said Mrs Turia.
“The last thing we need is for another politician to come in to save our families by handing out free breakfast and free lunch to their kids”.
“It’s patronizing, it’s demeaning and it devalues the vital capacity of our whanau to take responsibility for their own children’.
“Hone has picked a number out of the air ($38m) but the costings are at least ten times that” said Mrs Turia “and that’s not for all children either”.
“If we provided free breakfast and lunch to the children the Child Poverty Action Group has classified as living in poverty (230,000) that brings a cost of $368m per year – that’s right – a billion dollars for the next term of Parliament to authorise politicians to take over the rights and responsibilities of families”.
“We must resist any attempts by politicians to paint our families as incapable of doing for themselves. We should be working to inspire hope; to remind our whanau of their capability to feed their children, provide a healthy lifestyle, a warm and secure home”.
“Government’s job is to ensure that there is support for families to look after their own; that there is meaningful work available; and a minimum wage of at least $16 an hour”.
“And we must restore to ourselves our time-honoured traditions. The Maori Party has invested in the recreation of maara kai so that our whanau can fend for themselves, determine their own futures”.
“Our whanau are our future – not a politician handing out a free lunch”.
This is really encouraging and offers voters in the Maori electorate real choice – the grievance and gimme of Harawiara and the Mana Party or whanau helping whanau of the Maori Party.
One encourages dependency the other encourages responsibility.