There is not the slightest justification for allocating $56-million in Covid-19 funding on the basis of race, Hobson’s Pledge spokesperson Casey Costello said today.
In today’s announcement:
- $10 million from Vote Maori Development is for community outreach,
- $30 million for Maori health services,
- $15 million for Whanau Ora,
- $1 million to provide Maori business with advice and planning,
- $470,000 for Te Arawhiti, the Government’s “Treaty partnership” agency, to engage with iwi on their pandemic response plans.
“Race-based funding is an affront to all New Zealanders, especially at a time when we are being reminded to work cooperatively and in unity,” Ms Costello said.
“This Government has yet again sought to placate outspoken individuals claiming to represent Maori,” she said.
“There is absolutely no evidence that Maori are suffering any more than other New Zealanders,” Ms Costello said.
“And there is no evidence that the allocation of this funding will be tagged with any acceptable level of accountability,” she said.
“Maori are eligible for all state funded aid and support so separate funding at a time of pending crisis makes a mockery of response strategies,” she said.
“The challenge now is not what else the Government can do but what Maori corporations and trusts who claim to represent the interests of Maori are prepared to do to support our people,” Ms Costello said.