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Ethnic Affairs Minister told to get on with his jo

Pansy Wong
Opposition Ethnic Affairs Spokesperson

17 February 2000

Ethnic Affairs Minister told to get on with his job

Ethnic Affairs Minister George Hawkins' emphatic "NO" in Parliament today when asked if he had been consulted by the Minister of Broadcasting to ensure any broadcasting quota system would cater equitably for the ethnic communities he is responsible for, has surprised and saddened Opposition Ethnic Affairs Spokesperson Pansy Wong.

"How can Mr Hawkins adequately carry out his role as Minister Responsible for Ethnic Affairs if he doesn't even put the interests of ethnic communities on the Government's policy-making agenda?

"This is of particular concern when it is regarding an issue as fundamental to the promotion of cultural identity and wellbeing as broadcasting and the issue of broadcasting quotas.

"These ethnic communities are an important part of New Zealand society and they should not be marginalised in this way," Mrs Wong said.

"I call on the Minister to take the Ethnic Affairs portfolio seriously and ensure that the ethnic community's voice is heard on all decisions relating to broadcasting and any plans for local quotas.

"I can assure the Minister that many New Zealanders of many different ethnic backgrounds will be wanting to see themselves represented on television and radio, and he must make sure he represents their views in this respect, with his colleagues," Mrs Wong said.


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