Deputy Chair of the ministerial committee on poverty, Tariana Turia, has praised the visionary action of dairy milk company Fonterra as being an 'inspired initiative - an investment in our future'.
“The Milk for Kiwis scheme demonstrates the ‘corporate conscience’ of Fonterra in action” said Mrs Turia.
“Their announcement today that some 1400 pupils throughout 110 Northland primary schools will receive free milk from the start of 2012 provides an excellent model to other large companies. They have made the decision to demonstrate through their actions a sense of social responsibility - with free cartons of milk and fridges to keep the milk cold”.
The Maori Party congratulates Fonterra for its commitment to our children; and for stepping up to the challenge currently facing us”.
“None of us can sit silently, and allow our children to live in poverty without realising such indifference impacts of the wellbeing of all our children" said Mrs Turia.
“I am particularly pleased to see the trial starting off in Northland”.
Earlier this week Northland Medical Officer of Health, Clair Mills reported that Northland has the highest rate of rheumatic fever in the country.
"Rheumatic fever is a visible sign of the impact of high levels of poverty" says Mrs Turia. "I have argued that there are no excuses - this is a preventable condition and we should be able to eliminate it from our midst”.
“I was delighted last week that our Relationship Accord prioritised $24m of funding into a rheumatic fever strategy – but I know this is but a start.
"Overcrowding, unemployment, poor housing conditions all lead to compromised health, and in Northland particularly we know this is disportionately impacting on the lives of whanau Maori.
“We need to do everything we can to wipe out poverty; and to do what we can to make the difference in the homes of our most vulnerable”.
“The generous initiative of Fonterra gives us all reason for optimism that working together, will achieve real results”.
”Nau te raurau, naku te raurau ka ora ai te iwi.
With your contribution and my contribution the people will flourish”.