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Māori party drop the poi on Māori health

The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a government aligned service, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“The people of the Waiariki Electorate have every right to demand more from their local MP who is also the Minister of Māori Development and constantly talks up the benefits of being part of the National Government.

“Allowing the removal of a kaupapa Māori health service in his electorate shows a lack of commitment to Māori health while supporting the Government’s $2.3 billion shortfall in health funding forcing Lakes DHB to restrict what services they offer.

“Instead of his ill-conceived ‘Waka Ora’ plan to drive a bus around to hand out Panadol as part of this year’s Budget, he should have been standing up for his people who want a say in Māori health in Rotorua.

“If the Minister was serious about supporting Māori health, new money on new initiatives would’ve been more practical. This robbing Peter to pay Paul isn’t right.

“Labour supports Ngati Whakaue’s hikoi up through their Pa of Pukeroa. It would be the perfect opportunity for Tamati Coffey to pick up the poi and reinforce Labour’s commitment to Māori Health services.

“Labour will take a fresh approach and invest in health, including lowering doctor’s charges, providing more operations, better cancer medicine and easier access to mental health services, says Kelvin Davis.