Flavell to hold Regional Open Forum hui to find a way forward

By Maiki Sherman

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is to hold a series of Regional Open Forum meetings, allowing the public to bring various issues to his attention.

The first meeting will be held at Te Poho o Rāwiri Marae this Sunday in Gisborne.

The support for Flavell doubled in the Waiariki electorate.  Now, the new Minister of Māori Development wants to lend his support to the wider public.

“During the election campaign there was overwhelming sentiment that it was all very well for us, as politicians, to traverse the country and talk about our visions but there was no attempt to engage with communities themselves so that is why I am going around the regions,” says Flavell.

The Minister says topics up for discussion will no doubt be those touched on during the election, including employment, family services and health.  However he also has a challenge for those looking to attend.

“It's not as though I'm doing this so the whole of Māoridom can simply air their concerns before the Minister, but I also want them to come along with ideas and a way forward,” says Flavell.

Flavell has singled out Māori child poverty as a major focus of his, pointing to both Whānau Ora and the Māori economy as solutions. 

He says, “If I can help that situation as a Minister then that's great but this is a first step in opening the door to the Minister, more importantly my heart to Māori.”

Time will tell whether the Minister's support will grow through his open door policy, or whether he's letting more problems in.