Rahui Papa, Māori Party candidate for Hauraki-Waikato, congratulates Mihingarangi Forbes on her story for Radio New Zealand about the plight of people in Manurewa.
"Rather than criticising Metiria Turei, Mihingarangi got out among the people of Manurewa to garner their thoughts on social welfare," said Mr Papa.
"Manurewa has one of the highest proportions of welfare beneficiaries in the country and the people there are really struggling to make ends meet.
"We heard sad, sad stories of homelessness, overcrowded houses, the impact of synthetic drugs, and the desperate measures some people have to take in order to raise money for the most basic of needs – to feed their children milk and bread.
"The story reminded us all that there are some very real issues that we need to address."
Mr Papa is calling on iwi to have a greater engagement with issues relating to justice and welfare, to think more innovatively about how iwi can make a difference in the lives of our people who are struggling."
Along with inspirational iwi leader, Naida Glavish, Mr Papa will be hosting an iwi justice wānanga, ‘Kauaerunga Manaaki: Highest Level of Care’ on August 29-30 in Ngaruawahia to discuss pathways forward.
High Court Judge Justice Joe Williams will be a keynote speaker.
The long-term objective is for iwi, through strategic partnerships, to participate effectively in child welfare and criminal justice in New Zealand, consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our whanaungatanga obligations.
"The status quo is not working for our people. We need to work towards a higher level of care."