Gaps? What Gaps?
United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Government's vaunted "Closing the Gaps" strategy is no more than meaningless public relations drivel.
He says Ministers are uniformly unable and unwilling to spell out what specific gaps they are seeking to close in their portfolio areas.
"I recently asked the following Written Parliamentary Question of every Minister:
'What gaps has he/she identified within his/her portfolio, and what steps has he/she taken to close those gaps?'"
"Most Ministers have now replied, but none has yet answered my question specifically."
"Indeed, each has provided me with the following identical reply:
'Gaps are being identified and initiatives developed on an ongoing basis. Information released with the Budget gives a snapshot of relevant initiatives planned at this time.'"
"If 'Closing the Gaps' is a flagship Government policy, why are no Ministers prepared or even able to identify the particular gaps in their own portfolio areas, and the steps they plan to take to deal with them?"
"This whole programme reeks of self-serving political hypocrisy, and shows that 'Closing the Gaps' is no more than a public relations stunt designed to make the Government appear warm and caring and responsive to the needs of its Maori voters," Mr Dunne says.