Treaty Negotiations Minister
Chris Finlayson and Social Development Minister
Paula Bennett visited the small community
of Minginui where they are looking
at the state of housing and ways to combat unemployment
that has plagued the community for over 20 years. Kereama Wright was with them. The Treaty Settlements Minister
visited to get the ball rolling on Ngati Whare’s
Treaty claim earlier. He promised
that he would walk the talk, and that the relationship between
the Crown and iwi would be honoured. It’s just the beginning
of a long road. Ministers have arrived at the frontline
to see for themselves the big job ahead
of their government. Since the closing
of the sawmill in the 80s, the area’s economy dropped. Currently, this is the state
of housing in the community, an issue the ministers
are focusing on. But the major issue
is unemployment. 90% of the residents
in the valley are unemployed, surviving off the benefit. But even that’s no easy feat. The elderly have to get to Rotorua to receive the pension
to buy food with. By the time they get back, they’re broke again
until the next week. In past years, this used to be Minginui’s
social hall where the people danced and the community gathered. Now it’s rundown. It’s an indication of the decline
this community has faced. The question is whether
this is a genuine effort to help, or are they only garnering votes? As the saying goes,
all talk, but no action? Whether the ministers’ words
hold any truth for these future leaders,
only time will tell. What a great report, Kereama. There’s another hui in Whakatane –
what is that about? Yes, tomorrow, the 62nd Maori Womens Welfare League
AGM will be held in Whakatane. One of the issues to be discussed will be the well-being of women
and children all over the country. Another topic up for discussion
will be a new policy that came about
following Destiny Church’s Hannah Tamaki’s bid
for the presidency of the league. But I’ll have more for you
on that tomorrow subject, Scotty. Thank you for your report,
Kereama Wright, live from Rotorua.