National | Cyclone Gabrielle

#MARANGA funds fully distributed to regions as rebuild continues

The timeframe of distribution of funds for cyclone-affected regions and whānau has been in the public eye in recent weeks with Red Cross having only distributed a fifth of the $20 million raised.

But, when it comes to the $700,000 raised through Te Whānau o Waiparera Trust’s #MARANGA Rise Up relief concert last month, partnered with Whānau Ora and Whakaata Māori, Whānau Ora CEO John Tamihere says all of it has been shared.

“When we have events out of the norm like this one, we identify the geographic areas that were adversely impacted, we break out the numbers of Māori on the descent population basis there. We then divide our money according to those areas that were adversely impacted."

The majority of it was sent to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou and Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, according to Tamihere, and it had been given to those on the ground as they knew best how to use the funds given their respective situations.

“We’re fairly able to distribute resources fairly quickly up and down the country on the basis of population, and on the basis of being transparent and fair.

“What you’ve got to do is inject funds fairly into the hands of those in the most need.

“If we were the Red Cross, we’d be in a far better position and our communities would be in a far better position because some of our communities are some of the worst struck by a per capita basis.”

Congestion tax

The government has asked for cross-party support for its planned congestion tax potentially for Auckland and Wellington.

As the Māori Party’s president, and having done some work on it during his Auckland mayoralty bid, Tamihere says there has to be consideration for those who are on low incomes.

“I would be looking to mitigate any adverse impacts on people earning $50,000. One-third of Māori earn under $28,000, so you’ve got to be very protective of where our people’s ability is to put their hands in their pocket, to fund themselves.”

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