Passing the baton to the Minister
In August 2008 Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia wrote a very diplomatic letter to one of the pensioners supporting our website, leaving us wondering what their stance really is, or if they are so engulfed in their own agendas that they happily forward the baton to the major party in government. The letter says more or less that the pensioner should better ask the Minister of Finance what the Maori Party should think about the issue...
At the time the Maori Party was supporting the Labour-led government. Since the election in November 2008 they are somehow sleeping with the enemy by having entered into a coalition with John Key's National Party, supporting policies they would normally not support in exchange for National making big commitments to Maori.
Decide for yourself what you think of this letter:
"The Maori Party believes that our community must make every effort to demonstrate our value for the contribution and continued participation of older people. We consider a current priority should be to review services and facilities needed by the aged and elderly to ensure we protect the special place they have in our society, as repositories of experience and knowledge.
The majority of the letters to us about this issue raise important questions about whether the implementation of the New Zealand Superannuation Amendment Bill is being done in such a way as to abuse the entitlement of the individuals involved.
It would suggest that it would be useful to contact the Minister of Finance directly, Hon Dr Michael Cullen (Editor's note: now the former Minister of Finance, member of the Labour Party). We believe it is incumbent upon that Minister, given his responsibility for superannuation policy, to respond to you about the proposal to develop a more equitable policy on overseas pensions."