Māori politicians show support for Aboriginal communities

By Heeni Brown

Māori politicians are weighing into the debate and controversy over a proposed plan to close more than 100 of Western Australia's remote Indigenous communities.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott publicly supported the plan and late last year Aboriginal elders lead a protest outside of state parliament against the move.

According to Australia's ABC News, Tony Abbott believes that if people choose to live in areas where there are no schools or jobs, there is a limit to what they can expect the state to provide.

"What we can't do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have," Abbott says.

Here in New Zealand, Māori politicians are likening the situation to Māori having to move from the regions to the city for work.

Tāmaki Makaurau MP, Peeni Henare says he is not surprised and that if Aboriginal communities are ripped from their communities they will lose their identity.

He says he feels for the Aboriginal people in Australia and moving them out of their communities will be detrimental for them, just as it was for the identity of many Māori who are thrust into cities and lost among the masses and eventually forgotten.

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox says Māori politicians need to stand together on this issue and support the aboriginal communities affected.

She says Māori MP’s need to throw their support behind the Aboriginal communities as they, unlike Māori in New Zealand do not have a Treaty to work with which ensures their mana isn’t lost completely.  Ms Fox sasy she fully supports the Aboriginal communities banding together in Australia to protest the move and that other Māori Politicians should back their call.