New Zealand Labour Party

Māori Party’s waka up river without paddle

The Māori Party’s waka is up the river without a paddle over its Waka Oranga mobile health unit pilot programme, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“How can Māori voters have confidence in the Māori Party after the Minister of Māori Development made a Budget bid to improve Māori health without proper analysis, without an operational plan and without targeted outcomes?

“They’ve blown a much-needed opportunity to improve Māori health outcomes by ignoring operational details around a mobile health service that’s probably going to be rolled out around Ikaroa Rawhiti.

“Why doesn’t the Waka Oranga initiative have targeted outcomes for specific conditions including rheumatic fever which disproportionately affects Māori?

“For the examination of Vote Māori Development we asked a series of questions about the Waka Oranga programme including a breakdown of expenses, how frequently it would visit communities and what outcomes they were targeting for specific health conditions.

“Every response was the same and stated Te Puni Kokiri was still ‘working through the details.’

“For nine years the Māori Party have hitched their waka to the National Party and today Te Ururoa Flavell allowed National’s Mr Fix-It to respond to my questions in the House rather than front up himself. Like the Prime Minister of the Government that he serves, he was avoiding the tough questions.

“The Māori Party is either in denial or drunk on power as many New Zealanders face another bleak winter living in overcrowded conditions with fewer opportunities and more health risks.

“It’s time for strong leadership. We must change the Government. Labour will reverse the health cuts, lift wages, reduce the cost of living and ensure Māori and all New Zealanders have better options,” says Kelvin Davis.