26 Jul 2012

Greens grill Government over Maori child poverty

7:00 pm on 26 July 2012

The Green Party has used Parliament's Question Time to challenge the Government over its efforts to eradicate poverty among Maori children saying Ministers have failed to address equality.

Speaking in te reo, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei asked the Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, if he agreed with a comment from the Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres.

Mr de Bres has said a third of all Maori children are being denied their basic human rights because of poverty and inadequate public services.

Ms Turei says Maori children have been condemned to a life of sickness, hardship and underachievement.

Dr Sharples responded in te reo by saying that - on the Maori Party's request - the Government has set up a ministerial komiti to address poverty among Maori children.

He maha atu ngā tamariki e noho pohara ana, kāore au e tautoko ana ki tērā.

Hei tāna, nā te tono o te pāti Māori, kua whakatūria e te kawanatanga tētahi komiti kia titiro ki ēnei mea te poharatanga kei roto i te iwi.

He says there are many children living in deprivation, and he doesn't support that.