The Government’s five-year plan Living Well With Diabetes puts a much needed focus on community strategies but fails to regulate school tuck shops, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
"If we really want to educate our whanau, then children and schools are an important part of the effort. Restoring healthy food nutrition guidelines would be a vital addition to this plan.
Ministry of Health statistics show rates of renal failure with concurrent diabetes for Māori aged 15 and over were more than five times that of non-Māori the same age between 2012 and 2014.
"We simply cannot deny that from a younger age children are now pre-disposed to poor nutrition and unwise food choices that lead to the early onset of diabetes and potential renal failure.
"The Government stopped funding Labour’s Healthy Eating Healthy Action initiative and scaled back the Fruit in Schools programme, disadvantaging kids in low decile schools.
"Requiring healthy kai in schools is not nanny state. It’s a must if the next generation are to live without Type 2 diabetes.
"This issue is particularly close to me, my whanau, hapu and iwi," Nanaia Mahuta says.