Waatea News Column: Budget 2022 an enormous win for Māori and New Zealand

The magnitude of gain Budget 2022 represents for Māori and all New Zealand can’t be overestimated.

For all New Zealanders concerned with inequality, poverty and race relations, this budget represents an ongoing commitment from Labour to walk the talk.

For Māori to get $1.2billion in a post-covid economic slump is a testament to the negotiating muscle of the Māori Labour Caucus.

Just look at what has been gained in this Budget:
• $579.9 million in health initiatives
• $155 million invested into the Māori economy and employment
• Māori education gets over $200 million
• $28 million culture and Identity
• $162 million into the Environment and climate change for Māori adaptation
• $40million into Māori media

While critics will claim it’s not enough and more needs to be done, it would be wrong to look at the wins of this budget in isolation.

In 2021 Māori gained $1.1Billion and in 2020 they gained $900milion.

That’s $3Billion over 3 years for Māori, that is more than the entire settlement process from the Waitangi Tribunal and shows just how successful Willie Jackson and the Māori Labour Caucus has been.

In our rush to demand the perfect, we risk ignoring the good.

This Budget represents $3Billion extra into Māori funding that didn’t exist previously, the Labour Māori Caucus have much to feel proud of, the question will be whether or not Māori Voters realise or appreciate that enormous effort at a time when ACT are proposing vast amputations of Māori political voice if they are elected next year.

First published on Waatea News.

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