12 Oct 2012

Murupara delivers message to Key

7:43 pm on 12 October 2012

Maori Party president Pem Bird says the Murupara community near Rotorua has given the Prime Minister a clear message about their expectations for the future.

Almost 90% of the community are Maori and at the most recent census the unemployment rate was nearly three times the national average.

Mr Bird organised John Key's three-hour visit which was centred on a forum where community groups and whanau could share information with the Prime Minister.

He says five community organisations each made presentations about who they are, what they do and the challenges for the Bay of Plenty town.

Mr Bird says the key messages to Mr Key were that the community has high educational aspirations for its children, and that despite the economic downturn the whanau in Murupara are resilient and just get on with the business of living.

John Key says he really enjoyed his visit and was impressed by the presentations and much of what he was told is what the Government is focused on.

This includes lifting educational achievements, delivering jobs, and finding ways to keep young people out of court and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Mr Key says Murupara is a town which wants to take charge of its destiny and was impressed that the community organisations didn't stamp their feet and demand that the Government solve all their problems.

He says the community has a great focus on educating its young people, and he will take back to Wellington for discussion some concerns which were voiced by the groups.