19 Oct 2011

Call for political candidates to address Maori poverty

6:29 am on 19 October 2011

The Council of Christian Social Services wants to see all candidates for the forthcoming general election put on the spot about their commitment to reducing income inequality in New Zealand.

Executive officer Trevor McGlinchey says the organisation's latest vulnerability report shows a third of Maori children are living in poverty and their susceptibility to many diseases is much higher than for pakeha.

He says Maori are much more likely to have rheumatic fever than non-Maori and have a 50% higher rate of mental illness.

Mr McGlinchey says Maori voters need to be pushing all political candidates about what they will do to make a difference.

The council has set up a special website - www.closer together.org.nz - for those wanting to support the push to reduce income inequality.