The Māori Party is praising New Zealand First for pushing for gains that will benefit thousands of tamariki and the country’s lowest paid workers, many of whom are Māori.
“People will most probably be surprised to hear the Māori Party acknowledge NZ First for anything but we need to give credit where credit is due,” said Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan.
“These two gains [lifting minimum wage and age of free doctors’ visits] they’ve negotiated with Labour stand to benefit so many vulnerable whānau and communities, so we mustn’t shy away from saying ‘thank you’ or ‘kia ora’ for that.”
The Māori Party has always been supportive of a living wage and getting the age of free GP visits lifted from 12 to 17. In 2014, the Māori Party managed to convince the Government, as part of its work on addressing poverty and health inequalities, to lift the age to 12 which benefited more than 400,000 primary school aged children.
“Any incremental change to lift the minimum wage and ensure more tamariki get better access to health, is a good thing for Māori and our country.”