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Beehive Chat: Hon Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru

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Beehive Chat
Hon Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru
Tuesday 18 January 2011

In the play by George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah, the question is asked: You see things; and you say, Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say, Why not?”. It is a question that has been on my mind, as I reflect on some of the major issues affecting our whanau.

Over the break I have been considering some of the fundamental issues impacting on our families.

It was extremely disheartening to see in the statistics released for the Whanganui region by the Police, that the number of assaults in the home almost doubled from 28 in November 2009 to 48 in November 2010. I believe this is the most significant issue affecting our families. We must stand up, take responsibility for this crisis and come together to create the environment which ensures that every home is a safe home; that every child grows up free of violence; that every family has a focus on whanau ora.

The long term consequences of violence of all kinds sexual violence, psychological, physical, cultural, verbal have proven to be fatal. But I say to us all, we can do something about this and we must. We can remind each other that we can be strong together, in supporting all our families facing difficulties.

I know we can create a world in which the numbers of our children who are suffering lessens; while the strength of our relationships improves markedly and that all of us can play a role in making this happen.

To this end, my office here in Whanganui is wanting to invite Maori social and health providers, and whanau, to a hui, to provide an opportunity for us all to place a stake in the ground, and look at what we are doing, and what we need to be doing more of.

To express interest in attending the hui, please drop me an email on [email protected] or give me a call on 0800 488 742.

Other issues that have come across my table recently include the crisis situation looming in Aotearoa with rheumatic fever. Did you know that if you are a Maori child living in Murupara you have a 1 in 39 chance of contracting rheumatic fever – whereas for a Pakeha child across New Zealand, the chances are a mere 1 in 10,000? That particular statistic is staggering and again I ask why not? Why not have complete health and wellbeing for all our tamariki? Why not ensure that Maori children receive adequate treatment when they present with a sore throat? It sounds so simple. Rheumatic fever is a preventable disease and can be eradicated with vigilant practice by doctors and nurses. I believe we can put in place the changes we need to make our homes safe, warm, and healthy.

So heres what I am focused on – why not place our greatest investment in the health of our children, the quality of their learning, or the joy that every family is entitled to know?

These are some of a multitude of issues that families are experiencing, day in, day out, in Aotearoa. I believe that as your Member of Parliament this is the real challenge that we must attend to the bread and butter issues that are at the heart of our homes.

Too often, politicians tend to immerse themselves in the politics of opposition and division; losing themselves in a war of words which relies on character assassination as a means of gaining credibility. In other words, Parliament becomes the stamping ground of people can only focus on all that is wrong, rather than creating solutions to make things right.

I have no interest in contributing to such a focus.

The Maori Party is a party that was developed by the people, for the people; a party which prefers to focus on kaupapa rather than relying on the politics of division to win support.

We are not driven by the left or the right our membership dictates that we must widen our approach to ensure that we are all capable of unleashing the great potential that exists within our people.

I am proud of all that we have achieved in our aspirations for Whanau Ora the ongoing investment in enviro-kura and home insulation; the push for removing tobacco displays out of sight; the attitudes campaign in the disability sector, the significantly increased numbers of Maori appointed into positions of influence right across the state sector.

But ultimately, I am most proud of our people, who continue to come to me with such proactive and constructive solutions about making the difference at the local level. They share with me the beauty of their whakaaro; the intelligence of their marae strategies; the courage of their whanau plans; the integrity of their business proposals. It is my absolute intention to continue to honour their hard work in this year and in every year that I have the privilege to serve as a member of Parliament. I am committed to helping them achieve their dreams, their solutions, their locally owned and developed answers.

And why not what better goal could we have to drive us onwards?

2 thoughts on “Beehive Chat: Hon Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru

  1. There's no respect anymore.. the things this woman tries to achieve for our people are noble, yet no one is bothering to take any notice! They criticize her and call her and the rest of the Maori party (barring Hone) greasers because they try to work with the system instead of against it. They are not Right or Left, yet have been categorised again and again through narrow minded assumptions. The man who creates the most drama is not the only one in the party who fights for our people. Sure Hone tackles the tough issues to do with land etc and I'm in full support of that. But health, education and the well being of our people, which this lady has promoted time and time again is just as important!! People need to show a bit more respect and recognition of how much every member of the party has accomplished, not just the one stirring up the media.

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