Marae Investigates questions – Marama answers

Kia ora whānau – I have attempted to answer all the questions that were asked under the original thread for me to answer J

Gary Wills

I would like to ask her what she is doing on Saturday night🙂

Marama replies:
Aside from waiting for you to rock my world – I will be at the Matariki Festival this Saturday night in Napier for the day. People can come on down for a korero with me J

Louise Heremia

Would she support Maori taking back their lands to build themselves a home rather than lease lands to the rich for crumbs. I understand blocks may entail many shareholders but if members got approval to build then why is it so difficult to do that when the land is being leased. What if that block happens to be in the middle of many blocks, do you have any ideas as to how one can build on their block or do you think block swapping of exact size based on location and having access to the roadway be a solution.

Marama replies: Kia ora Louise. The more whānau we can support towards home ownership the better. The tensions between those who want to use our whenua and resources to grow capital holdings as opposed to those who want to see the direct immediate benefits for whānau are not new arguments. Those debates about land use have been raging in iwi runanga and resource management talks for decades. Certainly the way we define ‘land value’ needs to include a wider reference than a monetary one. I will always fight for the recognition that whānau having stability and security in owning their own land and whare can have far reaching cultural, social, psychological and spiritual benefits that may not be accorded using a strictly financial growth assessment.

 Kere Peihopa

Should a trust that was formed by kaumatua /kuia years ago have the right to serve trespass notices on kaumatua /kuia today….Evicting them straight out onto the footpath with no mediation process….even though there whakapapa proves they are beneficiaries?The last one was evicted for failing to pay $15 …come on surely the comfort of kaumatua outranks political….or maybe it doesn’t!!

Marama replies: Kia ora Kere. On the face of it that seems completely outrageous. There is no way a $15 non-payment on its own is enough to evict anyone from a place that they have a right to be. I certainly have always been an advocate for robust discussion as the first port of call for peaceful mediation. I am not sure what you mean by ‘surely the comfort of kaumatua outranks political’ but I assume it means there is a political dynamic to this situation, and I am unaware of what that involves. Therefore I can only comment on what information has been presented to me here which appears to be an unfair eviction of our kaumatua/kuia.

 Louise Heremia

Would she stand in parliament and fight for Maori wanting to build homes on Maori land even if it means block-swapping?

Marama replies:
Kia ora ano Loiuse. I will stand in Parliament and fight for those who don’t feel that they are being heard and/or listened to by any “leaders” including our own. 

Louise Heremia

Is she aware of Trustees cutting out shareholders of money they are entitled to deliberately? And what would she do to ensure Trustees are held accountable by law? 

Tracey Pomare

Why are you in Auckland? How can you represent Ikaroa Rawhiti when youre in Auckland?

Marama repies: E te tuatahi, me tuku mihi honore ki te hau kainga e awhi ana i te ukaipo. Na koutou te whenua I arohaina mo tatou katoa. Atu I tena, no konei au, no Te Tai Rawhiti. Koina.

I grew up in the south of the electorate (Naenae) and lived in Ruatoria only a few years ago, my son Horouta was born in Te Puia Hospital and my daughter and I travelled SH35 each week for her to play netball in Gisborne. The advocacy I have done in fighting for Maori issues has included issues important to Ikaroa Rawhiti. I can represent Ikaroa Rawhiti because I whakapapa to here and because I have always had the wellbeing of our people in my heart and my work no matter where I stand. My whānau in Rangitukia, Te Araroa and Ruatoria have given me their express blessing for this stand on our behalf. There are many Maori who live away from their hapū papakainga who continue to do great things for their rohe. If I win the seat I would be committed to living in the electorate. I have based myself in the electorate for the campaign period. 

Louise Heremia

What about state tenants – this govt is evicting 3,000 based on their incomes. Would she push for a tenancy occupancy change whereby a tenant be allowed to occupy a Housing Corp home for a specific period of 20years with a right to have the tenancy be renewed either further 10 or 20 years based on the youngest having reached 16 years?

Marama replies:
Yes it was important to me to be on the ground to feel the heartbeat of people who are being evicted from State Houses and whose communities are being bulldozed. I will continue to fight for whānau to have secure tenures and the Green Party also proposes a Home For Life programme which is a Rent to Own initiative for whānau. I have stood in front of state houses to protest their removal and I hope to stand in Parliament to protest their removal and provide better alternatives. I will also fight for an improvement in the service of state housing agencies, the system is not working at present when we have so many empty state houses and so much overcrowding in private rentals. A Capital Gains Tax will reduce the incentives for absentee landlords to put their money into housing which inflates the price of both purchasing and renting a home. 

Louise Heremia

What does she think about the govt make it compulsory to have beneficiaries rents and a set wkly power payment deducted from their benefits and paid directly to landlords and power companies?

Marama replies:
Kia ora Louise. Whānau need to maintain their own sense of tino rangatiratanga over making good decisions for their own lives. I have written, spoken, and protested extensively on the broader issue of supporting whānau into interdependence and interventionist approaches like this just further stigmatise our whānau as being incapable. The Green Party would reverse all recent welfare reforms. I would also continue with a focus on genuinely and compassionately supporting families to be less ‘dependant’ on the state and more ‘interdependant’ as a vital part of their communities. The original intention of Whanau Ora was to achieve this and has not transpired everywhere yet. But there are great case studies out there of what does work to improve lives for whānau. Some whānau prefer to have their core costs deducated automatically, that is fine if they choose to do so. The key is ensuring that our mokopuna are able to stay in the same place as long as possible provided it is safe and healthy, and close to their school, etc.

 Louise Heremia

Would she push to have all state homes have either solar panels installed or prepay power boxes installed?

Marama replies:
Those sound like great ideas Louise! And the Greens have an emphasis on pushing for renewable energy sources as well as the NZ Power initiative which would bring power bills down for whānau and stimulate the renewable energy sector across the country.

 Daphne Moke

What is her true opinion of Politics and the Rights of Maori land

Marama replies:
Kia ora Daphne. That is a great, if not very broad, question thanks Daphne. I have written some generic thoughts before about politics and Maori land in these links here that might offer some insight into where I stand generally. Feel free to ask me a more specific question though.J
The quote below is from this interview done over year ago:

“The Te Rarawa people of the far north are one of the groups of peoples I belong to. The ‘Te Rarawa Deed of Settlement’ aims to be a full, final and comprehensive settlement for Crown wrong-doings to the Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa iwi. The settlement deed sets out how redress will take place; it includes such things as Crown apologies, financial vesting and co-management agreements. 

The deed is now being taken back to the iwi peoples to be ratified and accepted. 

Some of our grassroots people have fought long and worked tirelessly to achieve as restorative an agreement as possible. The challenge of working up something acceptable is huge because authentic justice may never be achieved. Most of our iwi lands will never be returned and the ongoing negative impacts of a people losing their spiritual, economic, social and cultural base have been devastating. Such impacts will take generations to undo.”

Another interview is here which may refer to my stand on politics and the Rights of Maori Land:

“The Occupy philosophy needed to link the very neoliberalism it was opposing to the ongoing colonial imperialism of the indigenous people of each of the lands that the movement was occupying. Indigenous critique was calling for widespread acknowledgement that indigenous peoples had been fighting those very oppressive approaches for hundreds of years. The imperial poison of greed and privilege had now started to negatively impact on almost ‘everyone else’ and it could only benefit and strengthen the movement to accept this. As Māori women, Te Wharepora Hou felt a responsibility to continue that global conversation in Aotearoa and also to support our indigenous relations where ever Occupy was happening in the world. We most definitely saw value in joining in a call to end neoliberalism, but not without the indigenous thought to uphold the truer struggle.” 

Louise Heremia

What would she do to ensure all Maori are encouraged to get a yearly health checkups? Maybe make it compulsory as a means to lower failing health issues.

Marama replies:
Kia ora Louise. Again another great idea and I’m particularly please with the Green Party’s Nurses In Schools programme which would have one nurse in every Decile 1-3 primary and intermediate school for each 400 children.  Marae and community hauora organisations seem to be making great impacts in some places for providing accessible and appropriate health services so I would advocate for making health services second to none for our Māori communities by supporting the training of more Māori medical staff and an emphasis on prevention rather than just cure. 

Louise Heremia

What would she do regarding Dental price controls? Dental fees are too expensive and I would like to see an enquiry into how Dentists justify their charges compared to General Practitioners?

Marama replies:
Kia ora Louise. I have had to neglect my own teeth for the very reason of expense! I would love to look into how more of our whānau can care for their teeth better. 

Manu Caddie

Good questions Louise. Daphne can you expand/explain your question a bit more? 

Louise Heremia

Kia ora Manu. I would like all these questions go to all candidates. 

Louise Heremia

I would like to know what she thinks about an Enquiry into how the govt can justify the amount that all beneficiaries receive each week? What is her thoughts on that and would it make a difference to lowering the poverty rate?

Marama replies:
Kia ora Louise. All whānau have a right to be able to meet their basic social, cultural, economic, spiritual and physical needs. I have often spoken of redistributing wealth. This government favours corporate welfare and does not place healthy children and families as a priority.

The Living Wage is a movement that has gained a lot of support and the Greens are right behind. We need to ensure there are real incentives to encourage people into work, so while benefits may not be the same as the Living Wage, they should be enough for a whānau to survive on until decent work is available.

I have made these statements referring to poverty and links to child abuse and pointing to solutions: 

Marewa Oterangi

Entrenchment of Te Tiritii O Waitangi in to the Constitution and the maintaining of Tino Rangatiratanga as Tangata Whenua ..also the possible impact that the Review and looming changes could have on Te Ao Maori regarding Te Ture Whenua Land Act 1993. Look forward to Marama’s thoughts on these…nga mihi🙂

Marama replies:
Kia ora Marewa. Yes the current review and transformation korero around Constitution are really important for Māori to be involved in. My starting point is that the way we govern Aotearoa needs to affirm our status as Tangata Whenua and so our partnership agreement needs to be entrenched into our way of thinking, talking, legislating and living. What exactly this looks I am hoping will come from an ongoing discussion from our whānau to our decision makers in Te Ao Māori. Here is my article I wrote well over a year ago around Māori representation that delves a little bit into my thoughts around maintaining Tino Rangatiratanga.

The Te Ture Whenua Land Act 1993 review discussion document and recommendations are somewhat confusing as they seem to imply some things happen which are not the case at present. It is a long and complex discussion which I am keen to do more work on as there is so much potential for great opportunities in these issues. Needless to say, the principles I would insist on are that: the fragmentation of ownership is a problem we should find ways to resolve; owners who wish to occupy and work the land themselves should always have preference over corporate interests that utilise the whenua and treat it as capital for shareholders and others to make money from; not one acre more of Māori land should be alienated and more technical support is required to assist in the organisation of Māori land and advice on making it as productive as possible without compromising environmental and cultural values. 

Sina Brown-Davis

What Difference can you make to improve the quality of life for whanau ? What can be done to ensure a sustainable and green energy future for the Coast ? What vision do you have for the future well-being of the electorate ?

Marama replies:
Kia ora Sina. Being a voice that changes it up from the current demoralising narrative has been important to me for a long time. I have tried to do that on many levels whether it is writing, speaking on any public and media platform or literally shouting in the streets. The feedback I have had that is also important to me is that it encourages others to have a voice when they see people using theirs. I wrote an open letter to John Key and posted it on social media last year – it called into account the callous and cruel nature of this National led government. I wrote it after having spent a day listening to whānau who have been hampered at their every attempt to improve their own lives. It got the attention of Radio NZ and I did a follow up interview with them about it. JK himself probably will never read it but our wāhine and whānau did and it gave some the confidence to stand up for themselves knowing that others are out there who have got their backs.
The Green Party staunchly opposes exploitative extraction of oil and encourages a transition to safer fuels that do not harm our environment. The Greens also have a focus on creating a smart green economy through things like sustainable forestry, restoring awa, safe food and organic exports, keeping our public assets and eco-tourism. And again Living Wage, Living Wage and Living Wage.

Look out for the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti policy package to be released in the next week! 

Melanie Tahata

Are you going to be at the Tamararo’s next week?

Marama replies:
Kia ora Mel I’m so sorry I didn’t answer this question on time but I was most definitely at Tamararo and I loved every second of it from our babies performing to having korero and catchups with the whānau there! I was there with Metiria and local supporters – we had a blast (and over 300 people signed the Keep Our Assets petition while we were there!)

 Louise Heremia

Kul more questions! If we dont ask our people wont know much or that its a good thing and it is. Kapai tatou. Questions from the people also help candidates and politicians know whats on peoples minds and their experiences. After all, they arent mind readers so its good to get them out there. 

Louise Heremia

Whats her thoughts on Feed the Kids program? I could be wrong but I believe the Greens dont support it. Why?

Marama replies:
Kia ora Louise. The Greens proposed a Feed the Kids programme in 2008. We fully support feeding the kids to ensure that they are ready to learn. J In fact Hone Harawira has offered to wear a t-shirt to the Select Committee that says ‘I stole this policy off the Green Party’! 

Louise Heremia

What would she like the Green party do for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, specifically the people of Ngati Kahungunu in education, health, employment and the most importantly, housing as there are many that labour and national drove them to homelessness who now live in sheds and caravans in Napier and Hastings? Youll be surprised how many live in caravans in Napier!

Marama replies:
Look out for the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti policy package to be released in the next week! 

Louise Heremia

Did you know there are marae that are dire need of repair, upgrading or refurbished and have no suitable heating? What does the Greens think about installing solar-panels for marae? Or offering marae the option of prepay power?

Marama replies:
Ngāti Porou have set aside just over $1million/year or $20,000/year per marae for five years to help with maintance and development costs. The Greens are keen to look at locally owned generation and potentially transmission so that hapū may develop wind, microhydro and/or solar generation that feeds into the national grid.  

Louise Heremia

Did you know many Maori on the East of Hastings dont get good healthcare from their GP?

Marama replies:

I would be interested in finding out more about that situation

Janeen Rapira Rapira

Great questions Louise Heremia… 

Louise Heremia

Are you aware that certain people get what one would call, a fair benefit while certain part of NZs population gets less which is why they end up in a WINZ office every day applying for grants while the other certain people you very rarely see?

Marama replies:
I know that while Gisborne has a higher average rent than Rotorua the residents get a lower Accommodation Supplement. This discrepancy has been pointed out to the Minister of Social Development but she did not want MSD to review the situation. There are no doubt many other similarly unfair anomolies in the system that the Minister doesn’t care enough to do something about. 

Janeen Rapira Rapira

Is Shane Taurima interviewing her? 

Louise Heremia

I dont know. I would like to hear what other candidates think too. 

Louise Heremia

Does Marama know about the various organisations and networks that assist immigrants with all their needs, from food, clothing to housing to setting up businesses?

Marama replies:
I did a lot of work with migrant communities and their organisations. I am aware of the national network of multicultural councils and know they have local affiliated groups throughout Ikaroa-Rāwhiti doing some awesome mahi and needing some more support from locals and the government.

Kere Peihopa

Smokesreen Maori avoiding the real issues that effect Maori using a taonga that we fought for….the airwaves to not be of benefit to the communication enhancement of our well being but to to prop up the continuance of our oppressors. Do we really be…See More

Marama says:
Aroha mai Kere I wasn’t able to see this whole question? 

Kere Peihopa

Tautoko your korero Louise Heremia you know you wont get an answer. Silent….means non appearance in legal terms it is regarded as dishonorable. So why should Maori be honorable to these poorly utilized information centers when the honor they show beneifit the criteria of there funding….not kaumatua/kuia or any well thought out maori initiative….

About Te Wharepora Hou

Te Wharepora Hou is a collective of wāhine who are mainly Tāmaki Makaurau based, but we have strong participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world. We have come together to ensure a stronger voice for wāhine and are concerned primarily with the wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi and all that pertains to Papatūānuku and the sustenance of our people.
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One Response to Marae Investigates questions – Marama answers

  1. aotearoa666 says:

    Kia ora, totally missed that you had answered my question. Thanks for that. Glad to hear that you made it to the Tamararos – I was stuck at home (story of my life, but not a sad one).
    Nga mihi
    Mel Tahata

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