Topics: BUDGET, Elections

Budget 2014 Breakdown

By Maiki Sherman

It’s common knowledge the Māori Party has been heavily criticised over its relationship with National.

They say it's better to be at the table, and having influence over Government spending is a big part of that.  So the challenge is whether their gains today were enough to justify sitting alongside National.

Te Kāea Political reporter Maiki Sherman and Lawyer Toko Kapea broke the budget down and analysed how, and if there are any real benefits for Māori.

As the Government's budget is divvied out, the Māori Party has secured $155 million in new funding.  Altogether it makes up 10% of the Government's new spending.       

Iwi radio are big winners with a boost of $3million extra a year.

$1.5mil will go to Te Māngai Pāho to archive historic Māori language programming.  $5 million a year is being aimed at funding a Māori Centre of Research Excellence; money fought for following the non-renewal of a contract for research excellence group Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.          

$10mil over the next four years will be aimed at Māori sporting and cultural activities. $15mil over three years will go to Whānau Ora navigators' work.

Māori housing fund will receive $16mil over four years.  While restoring local freshwater bodies will be funded to the tune of $5mil over two years. $8mil over four years will be aimed at the Māori economic development strategy, as well as $6mil for tourism.

Furthermore, $1mil will fund a stage production next year between Māori and Chinese that will strengthen economic and cultural ties.       

Minister Bill English says the Māori Party also had significant influence in the free GP visits and prescriptions for under 13-year-olds as well as the increase in parental tax credits and the extension of paid parental initiatives in general.  

$30mil has been set aside for ICT development said to be specific to Māori spectrum rights. Rounding it off, there's also $6mil over four years to promote and maintain sign language, and almost $10mil for various disability initiatives. $2.4mil has also been allocated over four years to expand Reading Together, which supports children reading at home.  

Over the coming months, we shall see whether or not most people agree with that statement as we near the general elections.