Meka Whaitiri: Kelvin Davis says life is 'absolutely' better for Māori under Labour

  • 04/05/2023

The deputy leader of the Labour Party says it's not their fault Meka Whaitiri has defected to Te Pāti Māori.

And, despite the defection, Kelvin Davis told AM on Thursday life was "absolutely" better for Māori under Labour.

"You just need to look at successive billion-dollar Budgets for Māori and, just yesterday, I announced pay parity for Kōhanga Reo," he told host Ryan Bridge.

However, Bridge told Davis "I'm talking about life getting better in reality, not about how much you've spent on a programme - they're very different things.

"Can you see how Māori might be looking at Te Pāti Māori in a very different light now?" Bridge asked.

Davis rejected that.

Kelvin Davis.
Kelvin Davis. Photo credit: AM

"Twelve hundred fewer Māori are in prison now than when I became the [Corrections] Minister, the numbers of Māori children in Oranga Tamariki care have reduced… that's just a few things that I've done personally let alone the things other ministers have done," he said.

"Life has got better, under this Labour Government, for Māori. We'll continue to focus on the issues not just for Māori but for all New Zealanders."

Watch the full video for more.