Despite claims, it is obvious the Maori Party is not at the table with the Government when it comes to sticking up for tangata whenua, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.
“The Māori Party promotes itself as a partner in Government yet funding for priority Māori issues like Māori broadcasting and the Māori language continues to be cut.
“The Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, continues to oversee funding cuts to the Māori Language Commission and Māori broadcasting, which is diluting the infrastructure designed to sustain, promote and deliver a healthier Māori language.
“Fresh reports that Māori broadcasting funds have been frozen for seven years, producing significantly worse industry working conditions, are a sign the Minister is failing Te Reo Māori.
“The fact that that Māori language continues to decline despite all the best intentions raises the question of exactly how the Minister of Māori Development is helping develop and drive the Māori language.
“Māori language is the life essence of Māori mana, and therefore needs to be protected”, says Peeni Henare.