Politics | Māori Party

Time to put people before profit - Rawiri Waititi

Whanau across the motu are doing it tough after one of the wettest months Aotearoa has ever experienced in recent meteorological history leading to the loss of homes and belongings.

So Māori Party Rawiri Waititi has asked the government to provide financial relief to whanau.

Waititi said that one of the ways forward for Maori was to have a government-supported insurance policy for whanau.

“You know, if you look at you look at a few years ago, the government bailed out $1.6 billion with South Canterbury Finance, $500 million at AMI.”

“Those were targeted at those rich people that were a part of those particular companies. This is the time that we need it.”

Waititi said whanau were dealing with the added pressure of increases in the cost of living caused by these types of weather events while also dealing with lost and damaged property.

“The Maori Party is calling on the government to support those more vulnerable whanau who don't have the financial support.”

“But (whanau) deserve the same financial support as those who are part of South Canterbury Finance and AMI; this is the time to put people before profit.”

“So you know, contents insurance, actually finding another home, you're going to have hundreds who are going to be left destitute on the streets.”

Waititi said one way to help New Zealanders in this current inflationary economy was to take GST off food.

“Seventy-nine per cent of New Zealanders in one poll in recent days have said that they support taking GST off kai.”

'Protecting the pre-existing rights'

Heading into the next election, Waititi is confident the Māori Party will be winning more than two seats and said they will likely be the kingmaker in a highly probable hung parliament.

“To look at policies that actually cancel out Maori development, women's rights, Pacific peoples, all of those types of things are damaging. And we will not be supporting any government that looks at having that type of rhetoric.”

“In any government heading forward, Te Tiriti o Waitangi was about protecting the pre-existing rights, treating people equally, and the right to kāwanatanga, which has been on this whenua for the past 180 years.”