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Ed Sheeran

Manaakitanga but no special putea in Budget 2018

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Budget 2018 has continued the well-worn Labour strategy of addressing Maori need within the wider context of social spending.

Maori Ministers described it as a manaakitanga Budget, delivering for Maori by addressing the previous Government’s neglect across housing, education and healthcare.

Crown Maori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis said the Families Package which kicks in from July 1 will contribute $1.2 billion over four years to help whanau with accommodation supplements, winter energy payments, boosts to Working for Families and the Best Start payment for families with newborn children.

Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta secured $37 million in new funding, including $15 million over the next year for papakainga housing, $7 million for Maori land development initiatives and $15 million over four years for training programmes for rangatahi and Maori wardens.

Whanau Ora Minister Peeni Henare said about half the grandparents looking after children are Maori, and they will benefit from and extra $26 million a year for clothing allowances for children supported by the Orphans Allowance and Unsupported Child’s Benefit.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says his first Budget is not only about rebuilding critical services but about investing for the future.

He says Budget 2018 begins the economic and social transformation that must happen if New Zealanders are to have better lives in the decades to come.

Health got $3.2 billion more in operating funding over the next four years and $850 million in new capital - including $750 million to tackle some of hospitals’ most urgent building problems.

Free doctors’ visits were extended to the age of 14, which will affect 56,000 rangatahi.

All community services card holders, Housing New Zealand tenants and New Zealanders who receive an accommodation supplement or income-related rent subsidy will be eligible for very low-cost GP visits.

Education will get new capital funding to build schools and hundreds of new classrooms as well as get an extra $1.6 billion in operating funding over the next four years to address rising demand, fund 1500 more teachers and raise teacher-aide funding.

There’s an extra $634 million to increase public housing by over 6,000 homes over the next four years, provide more transitional housing, help for the homeless and offer grants for insulation and heating.


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