The Government’s continued undermining of Te Puea Marae is disgraceful, and does a disservice to the homeless people who are being helped by the marae, the Green Party said today.
“The Government has spent more time undermining Te Puea Marae than supporting its exceptional work in helping the homeless. Paula Bennett’s office leak is the worst example of this underhanded and unnecessary behaviour,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson.
“The fact is, Te Puea Marae has made the Government look bad, and now they’re paying for it.
“Te Puea Marae’s work has shown the Government to be uncaring and completely out of touch with what’s happening on the ground in communities like South Auckland.
“I have been to Te Puea Marae and seen the amazing work the staff are doing there.
“With very little money or resources, Te Puea Marae has been housing, feeding, and supporting families who themselves have very little – our most vulnerable people.
“At first, Paula Bennett completely ignored the work Te Puea was doing. Then, after an enormous amount of media and public pressure, she finally agreed to go out there for a photo-op.
“Now, she’s furiously backpeddling and denying that she had any knowledge of her office leaking private information about a Te Puea staff member.
“The whole thing reeks of a minister who knows her inaction on the housing crisis makes her look terrible, and who will do anything to distract people from that fact.
“Minister Bennett’s petty games need to stop. Let’s not forget we’ve got people living in cars, garages and on the streets right now, and it’s on the Minister and the Government to help those people,” said Ms Davidson.