There are a number of key challenges but for this purpose I focus on two.
Housing: homelessness, poverty, and unemployment are symptoms of a wider systemic problem and we need to address the root causes of these issues. To end homelessness we need a clear national strategy, which includes all sectors and sets out the action that Government will take. Last year, the Maori Party called on the
Government to immediately adopt the 21 recommendations set out in the Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. The Maori Party has advocated for emergency housing and lobbied for a Warrant of Fitness on all rental properties.
Water is a big issue for the entire East
Coast. The Maori Party support the Te Mana o Te Wai framework – which recognises fresh water as a natural resource whose health is integral to the well-being of communities. It is not too late to save the rivers. We support the stance of the iwi leaders: had iwi been involved with the allocation of water then our rivers would not be in the state they are in. Regional councils are allowing raw sewage straight in to our rivers and it is not good enough. Under the RMA, the Maori Party have secured agreements between councils and iwi that make consultation with iwi and hapu mandatory.