What's in Budget 2015 for Māori?

By Maiki Sherman

The 2015 Budget contains $1 billion in new spending and among the big winners are children living in hardship and those that are vulnerable - spending there totals to $850 million.

Out of the $10 billion allocated to Education, $244 million will go to build seven new schools.

Part of the $113 million tertiary budget will pay for 500 trade training places for Māori and Pasifika.      

One of the biggest winners is Health, which has new money for elective surgery and hospices.  Added to that in the $50 million allocated for Whānau Ora navigators. 

For more social housing, Māori social housing and the development of Crown land in Auckland, around $240 million has been allocated to Housing.

The $218.5 million Law and Order budget will see more funding for Police and re-offending programmes.

New Zealand's deficit will be at $684 million by the end of this year and the forecast is to be back in surplus of $170 million next year.  

The Māori Development package has seen an increase in its overall Budget.

It currently totals almost $170mil per year, up by almost $14.5mil from last year.  This portfolio is held by Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.

Families, land, and housing were the main focus points for the Māori Party in securing gains through the Budget, and they certainly secured new money for those initiatives.

In addition, you can be sure they also had an influence in the Government's focus on vulnerable families and children. 

The Budget may be in deficit but the Māori Development portfolio is in the black.

A total of about $100 million over the next four years has been allocated to new initiatives in the Māori portfolio.  That includes:

  • $49.8 million for Whānau Ora 
  • $35.3 million for Māori social housing 
  • $12.8 million for Te Ture Whenua Māori Network
  • $2.1 million for Māori youth suicide prevention

Vulnerable children are the focus of the Budget.  That includes:

  • $36mil towards the Children's Action Plan
  • $23 million for Child, Youth and Family
  • $8 million for vulnerable students

$17 million has been allocated to the management of freshwater.  While $52 million heads toward housing developments on Crown land.

The question is whether that land is part of Māori Treaty claims?  Bill English hopes the Government Budget will reach surplus in the coming year.