Labour has defended the lower increase in Māori funding in the budget compared to last year saying “We’re not comparing apples with apples.”
Marama Fox (Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāti Porou) became the Māori Party co-leader in 2014 alongside Te Ururoa Flavell, following her election to Parliament on the party list. She replaced party founder Tariana Turia. She will be running against the sitting MP Meka Whaitiri of Labour and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere of the Greens Party.
Fox has been unwavering in her work to help Māori – particularly women, children and youth. She is an experienced educational leader who has taught in Māori medium spaces, mainstream schools and has worked as an advisor in the Ministry of Education.
Highlights of her career in politics include securing $1.3 billion in funding for kaupapa Māori initiatives, undertaking an inquiry into homelessness alongside other parties and influencing the Government to invest more funding to urgently accommodate homeless families which resulted in a $300 million allocation being made. Fox is also credited with influencing the Government to rethink another plan it had that risked creating another stolen generation of Māori children in state care.
A devout Mormon, Fox was raised in Christchurch and today lives in Masterton with her husband Ben and their nine children, who are all involved in shearing.