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Did She Hook It Up?

Notice how Pākehā people never get asked “what do white people think?” Because any semi-intelligent person will know that that’s a fucked up question. So, let me start this off by stating right now that I, Nathan Rahui, DO NOT speak on behalf of all Māori–nor does any other Māori person. 

With the angry rant over, I’ll put my flag away and let’s crunch some numbers, whānau!

As much as aunty Cindy has won the hearts of all New Zealanders during her term, it’s always difficult to have complete faith in the government; it’s like watching an episode of Game of Thrones and you’re sitting there going “aight, who’s about to get their skull crushed now?”. Surprisingly, the support for Māori is looking pretty promising this time around. It has almost doubled since last year with over $900 million going towards Māori whānau, communities and tamariki. 

The big winner on the day is Education with support to Māori learners. The teaching grad in me is disheartened to know that the pay is still going to be shit, but the optimist in me is stoked to see that Māori Education, specifically Kōhanga Reo, is finally going to get the recognition it deserves. There’s also $50mil going towards Māori trades and apprenticeships which caters to our Māori youth–which is kind of ironic because they’re usually the ones that aren’t supported in mainstream education. But hey, it’s a step in the right direction!

As much as Simon Bridges can say the government isn’t doing enough to support child poverty, when he decides to chuck his pounamu on for the day, I think it’s pretty fair to say that aunty has done a lot more than “that last government” (cue Savage by Megan Thee Stallion). To see a huge chunk of money going towards Oranga Tamariki just goes to show that this government does believe that song from Whitney Houston, the children are the future, and definitely more important than designing a new flag for the country. But surely no party would think that’s a goo… Oh wait.

This budget hits at a strange time though. With the announcement of level 2 bringing joy to the hearts of lonely elderly people and horny teenagers that can cash in on their swipes, it left a lot of Māori confused. If you didn’t see anything on social media this week, then you probably need to diversify your friend list, but in the meantime, I’ll fill you in: 

  1. Marae were very specifically mentioned as a place that police can enter to enforce the law.
  2. Funeral and tangihanga were only allowed 10 people to gather and mourn (yes I know this has changed, don’t @ me).

As someone who has been involved in the realm of politics (weird flex), albeit on the student level, I can understand that sometimes people slip-up, they make mistakes, and I’d imagine even moreso when they’ve literally just tried to guide the country through a global pandemic. Most people could even say people are reading too much into it, but when instances like this continuously occur, it’s hard to put it down as an accident. So on the one hand we get back-slapped and on the next we get given a firm, sanitised handshake. If you understood my earlier reference to GOT, then you’ll know what’s good when I say, do not have a favourite character; as a Māori, we want to cheer for the good guy so badly, but we don’t know what’s around the fucking corner.

If you read the comments on social media, people will always have something to complain about: “it’s not enough” or “where’s the money coming from?” But these people could never run a country; they choose to find comfort in misery and let it comfort them like a fluffy blanket. I’m choosing to remain optimistic about the direction of financial support this time, but let’s see what happens. Winter is quite literally coming.

Māori specific highlights: 

  • Over $200mil for Kōhanga Reo 
  • $50mil for Māori trades training 
  • $40mil for Māori housing challenges 
  • $136mil boost to Whānau Ora
  • Revitalisation of te reo Māori: priceless

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Editorial – Issue 8