More support needed to help young families

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Māori housing could be considered one of the big winners in the 2015 Budget and while Finance Minister Bill English and Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell have taken the budget on the road to sell it to Māori, one Māori scholar says it didn't go far enough to help young families.

Standing side-by-side are English and Flavell on a plan set to make Māori front-runners in housing.

English says, “We will talk about housing because the Government has some pretty big plans for changing how we do housing, so that we can do a better job for people who really need housing support.”

Flavell says, “It’s the first time any government, both National and Labour, have raised the benefit to help families living in poverty.”

Despite a $25 increase for families with children on the benefit in 2016, one key issue being red-flagged is a lack of investment to helping young families get onto their feet.

Maxine Graham says, “Where is the investment for building young families together, and there's alot of investment in young mums or young fathers independently, but where will they look to invest in building young families together so that we may raise our children in two parent households as appose to single parent households.”

Free visits to GPs and free prescription for children under 13 years would be affective from July 1st.  But tertiary education for young parents is nowhere to be seen.

Graham says, “Being a young mum at 17 myself, it is very difficult to bring up children when you still growing up yourself.  So investment in building healthy relationships, investment in giving opportunity both for the young mums if they wanted to get into tertiary education but also for the young fathers.”

This post-Budget campaign will continue to travel around the country with Te Whare o Te Waipounamu in Christchurch being next on the list.