Last week the Māori Affairs Select Committee decided that it will undertake an inquiry into the determinants of wellbeing for Māori and Pacific children. It will look at social, health and education and social factors affecting the groups.
This inquiry has been promoted by the Aotearoa Equality Group and Every Child Counts. The Aotearoa Equality Group is convened by Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei and Māori Party MP Rahui Katene, and also involves Labour MP Louisa Wall. It is a cross party parliamentary group which works on policies to create a more equal society.
National MPs voted against holding the inquiry. National MP Simon Bridges told reporters there was no need for the inquiry as the prime minister’s science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman was doing a ‘comprehensive review that runs to hundreds of pages’ and because Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was doing a paper on the issue.
‘The Māori members on the Māori Affairs select committee for National had a view that actually we’ve put a lot of time into this already, there are things being done and an inquiry by the Māori Affairs select committee wouldn’t necessarily add anything. Having said that the vote’s been had, we are having one, and I am sure we will enter into it constructively.
Consequently, this week the inquest into the deaths of three-month-old twins Chris and Cru Kahui resumes in Auckland after a seven month recess. While on Sunday a Hastings 29 year-old Male has been charged with assulting and injurying a nine-month old child.