Mahuta looks to ‘lift aspirations’
‘‘The challenge of lifting the aspirations for Ma¯ori, you can do it through that portfolio’’
Newly sworn in Ma¯ori Development minister Nanaia Mahuta says Ma¯ori are in a post-treaty settlement phase and it’s time the portfolio came back into cabinet,
The Hauraki-Waikato MP asked for and was appointed Minister of Ma¯ori Development and sworn in alongside new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and their colleagues on Thursday.
‘‘One of my key motivators was to bring the Ma¯ori Development portfolio into cabinet. It hasn’t been in cabinet since we were last in government, it sat outside of cabinet,’’ Mahuta said.
‘‘It seemed to me to be a way to influence a broader programme of action across the whole of government.’’
Willie Jackson, the Minister for Employment sitting outside of Cabinet, is Mahuta’s Associate Minister of Ma¯ori Development and has expressed an interest in broadcasting.
The Ma¯ori Development portfolio oversees Ma¯ori TV and iwi radio.
Mahuta is ready to influence change for Ma¯ori.
‘‘In this day and age, Ma¯ori are in a different space in terms of development aspirations in a postsettlement context, in how we are upskilling our kids and what that looks like for future opportunity for our hapu¯ and our wha¯nau,’’ Mahuta said.
‘‘The challenge of lifting the aspirations for Ma¯ori, you can do it through that portfolio.’’
Mahuta also gets the role as Minister for Local Government and Associate Minister for the Environment.
She said most things that affect people’s lives - urban design, housing, infrastructure, waste - are at the local government level.
‘‘You’ve got to have a strong local and central government relationship,’’ she said.
‘‘We underestimate the importance of local government and the way in which it impacts on our day to day lives.’’
Ardern has taken on the portfolios of arts, culture and heritage, and national security and intelligence.
She is also responsible for child poverty reduction.
Winston Peters was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.
He will also hold the ministerial portfolios of Foreign Affairs, State Owned Enterprises, and Racing.