The Minister of Māori Development needs to be honest with his people and admit his party’s ongoing support of the National Government has seen increasing inequality and decreasing prosperity for Māori, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“Te Ururoa Flavell had no real answers when questioned in the House today whether asked he can support a Government that isn’t doing enough to ensure our people have homes, denies there’s a housing crisis and blames whānau for plummeting homeownership rates.
“On Monday I held a housing hui in Hawke’s Bay. We heard stories of people living in cars, motels and overcrowded conditions causing health problems for tāmariki. One woman has been living in a shed with her five children.
“More and more whānau are in desperate housing situations – and this is getting worse under a Government who blame Maori for homelessness.
“Maori homeownership has plummeted by 20 per cent in the last 30 years and close to 40 per cent in Whangarei, South Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, and my own hometown of Hastings.
“These falls are linked to persistent low incomes, and rising inequality which is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent.
“Te Ururoa Flavell likes to claim wins for Maori – but propping up this Government will only ever see things go backwards for Maori and he needs to be honest and admit that.
“We need a comprehensive housing policy focusing on building homes for our most vulnerable,” says Meka Whaitiri.