Mahuta will prioritise low income Māori - John Tamihere

By Taroi Black

Former Labour Minister and CEO of Waipareira Trust, John Tamihere says Nanaia Mahuta will thrive in the Māori Development portfolio and believes the role will be more effective inside cabinet.

John Tamihere says, “She has cabinet experience under Helen Clark. She has the greatest mandate out of any Māori seat.”

The last time Mahuta was in Cabinet was before Labour was defeated in 2008.

“There's a lot of spade work that goes in that you don't get the credit for and because she was a minister for non-Māori matters the last time at the end of the Clark period.”

Tamihere also says Mahuta will address the pertinent issues first. 

“There will be an emphasis on our vulnerable communities, on lifting our education, our health, our welfare and our housing. Then you can speak anything you'd like.”

One of Waipareira Trusts leading advocates is Te Pou Matakana. Chairperson Merepeka Tait is also confident that their agency under Whānau Ora will continue under this new led government with the Ministry of Social Development.

Merepeka Tait says, “Well obviously a number of people have said what will be the future of Whānau Ora. We believe our future is secure.”

Last year the government transferred up to $11.38 million in funding and programmes.

“We have operated under the radar for a number of years now, just getting on with the work I might say with the amount money we should have had to do the big work that we've done and we've done it really well.”