Housing, jobs and whakapapa top issues in Tai Tokerau debate

By Te Ao - Māori News

Delays in Māori Land Court procesess to free up land for homes, the long-delayed Ngaphuhi Treaty settlement and poor job quality were the top issues for political analysis Ella Henry and iwi radio broadcaster Ngahuia Harawira, who sat on Māori Television’s panel last night to assess Labour’s Kelvin Davis, Māori Party’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi and Public Party’s Billy Te Kahika, as they went head-to-head for the Tai Tokerau debate.

Henry said there were some significant issues in freeing up Māori land to build homes. She said the Māori Land Court played a critical role. “I have grave concerns over how long it takes it to make decisions and how difficult it is for our whānau to free up that land.

 “It takes a lot for whānau to manifest (a home) on Māori land. If it’s impossible for them, it’s impossible for te nuinga,” Kapa-Kingi said., especially considering the economy was high on the list for issues most important to voters in Te Tai Tokerau,

Better jobs wanted

Harawira zoned in on the quality of employment and was concerned companies were only offering entry-level jobs and limited opportunities for management roles in the north, “Ko te wero, he aha te take horekau ratau e haere ana ki te taumata tua rua, tua toru. E piki ana te matauranga o te iwi kia ahei te whai I era tūranga teitei.”

Te Kahika said to achieve better employment opportunities for Tai Tokerau it needed to start in schools with better educational subjects, “We need to teach topics in the schools that they can relate to.”

The Ngāpuhi Treaty settlement process for many is a song that seems to go on and on. Harawira asked if there was aspirations for a settlement soon. “Me pēhea te roa. Me pēhea hoki koutou e akiaki I te tarai punara kia oti mariki I te ripoata tua rua, I te ripoata tua toru?

Davis  replied: “A process was created that pitted parts of Ngāpuhi against each other and now (under Labour) it’s over to hapu.”

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