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Whatever happened to the kiwi dream ?
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Whatever happened to the kiwi dream ?
CLAUDETTE HAUITI

The Kiwi dream of a safe dry warm roof over one’s head is not a basic human right in Aotearoa New Zealand.

And if the truth be investigated ‘homelessness’ has been insidiously preying on this nation for decades. It’s been aided by successive Government’s lack of active policies and legislation to ensure our right in law, and abetted by foreign economic influencers manipulating domestic interest rates and the like.

Whether New Zealand acknowledges it or not, the genesis in homelessness to our national shame is in Maori land confiscations. If a new settler society can build the foundations of a new home and new nation by waging war against indigenous peoples, confiscating lands imprisoning scores of innocent men, women and children, forcing others into exile, then why can’t that same nation grow up and continue what it started?

This time however, the ruthlessness of the reaper is that it’s cutting a swathe through an entire socio-economic group of Pakeha New Zealanders, Pasifika New Zealanders, but mostly indigenous Maori.

Every whanau Maori can recall stories of tupuna who traipsed up and down country roads looking for work. Whanau groups pitching tents near rivers working at scrub cutting, shearing general farm labouring even droving. Many of these whanau were subjected to a second wave of displacement thanks to The Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1915. Maori were removed from what small land holdings they managed to retain when these farms were claimed by the Crown for non-payment of rates. The Maori men of these farms were incidentally also away at War.

So when Micky J Savage opened the first state house in 1937 at 12 Fife Lane Miramar Wellington, was a great day - for Pakeha New Zealanders. Maori weren’t eligible because according to the Government of the day - mixing up the races wasn’t a good-thing! We had to wait till 1944 and pressure from the Native Affairs Department and Apirana Ngata before the government caved in.

Simply put, Maori have been the blunt end of policy and legislation to have us and keep us landless and homeless in own land. That’s every Government’s shame.

Today’s National Government isn’t in a tricky situation - they’re in a prime position to do something about the housing crisis, it’s a man-made catastrophe causing a pandemic of illnesses of mental health, drug and alcohol, domestic abuse, violence and furthering of cultural genocide. Yes, genocide because the more deprived humanity the more the stripping away of an individual and a peoples.

New Zealand’s homeless are poor. Some are working poor. The majority are Maori. But every single one of them; New Zealanders. This is what Norman Kirk said in 1974 of all New Zealanders that we all need; Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for.” For Maori it’s all of that and..a right to be healthy and prosperously Maori.

Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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