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More than money needed to address Maori concerns

Georgina te Heuheu
Opposition Maori Affairs Spokesperson

16 June 2000

More than just money needed to address Maori concerns

"The Government must realise that you can't just solve every problem by throwing money at it," says Opposition Maori Affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu.

"Budget money allocated to Maori will no doubt be gratefully accepted by the recipients. But simply creating pots of money directed at social service and welfare agencies will never create true long-term benefits for Maori.

"What's needed for real gains is a coherent programme, aimed at lifting the skills of Maori. The future for Maori lies in skills, in enterprise and in business.

"The approach taken in the Budget will provide some short-term help but will prove inadequate in bringing about any real long-term gains.

"With at least 25 major tribal groups and literally hundreds of hapu competing for those pots of money there will inevitably be winners and losers. Many groupings of Maori will miss out. That's not eliminating disparities, its creating new ones. It's not closing a gap, its creating new gaps between Maori.

"Maori won't benefit in the long run from vying with one another for money. They need a supportive Government backed up by a coherent framework for lifting skills, encouraging enterprise and engendering confidence in business.

"This Budget has no such framework. This Labour Alliance Government has no vision for Maori," Mrs te Heuheu says.

Ends

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