Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Closing The Gaps Has Come Off The Rails

The Government's Closing the Gaps programme is a shambles that is creating more problems than it is solving, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"Material we've flushed out in the House and through the Official Information Act shows that the Government's key officials don't know what the programme is supposed to do - and aren't monitoring it anyway.

"It started out as a programme to help Maori and Pacific Islanders but now, at least for public consumption, it's a programme for all poor New Zealanders. But the Government has forgotten to tell the departments who are supposed to be implementing the programme about the change.

"Michael Cullen first told the House today on behalf of the Prime Minister that officials hadn't been given any new instructions because they had been working to the wider brief all along.

"Then he said the Government had told some inner officials about the change but maybe they hadn't passed the word on to departmental chief executives.

"We know that chief executives have not been told about any policy change, because they've told us so at select committees.

"Then Dr Cullen said the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was monitoring the programme. This directly defies the Prime Minister's commitment in February that Te Puni Kokiri would undertake effectiveness audits of departments' programmes and services. (The Press, 29 February 2000).

"If DPMC is doing the monitoring, then it's not doing much of a job. According to letters I tabled in the House today, DPMC has no departmental progress reports on Closing the Gaps, despite being told in February to provide them.

"Parekura Horomia then added to the confusion by suggesting that Te Puni Kokori, not DPMC, was responsible for monitoring. What a mess. "The Government must decide whether Closing the Gaps is an affirmative action programme for Maori and Pacific Islanders or whether it has bowed to public opinion and extended the programme to cover everyone," Mrs Shipley said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Spying On Politicians, Activists, Iwi, Quake Victims: "Failings Across Public Service"

A State Services Commission investigation into the use of external security consultants by government agencies has uncovered failings across the public service, including breaches of the code of conduct...

However, the inquiry found no evidence of widespread inappropriate surveillance by external security consultants on behalf of government agencies. More>>


Doesn’t Compromise Sovereignty: NZ To Back UN Migration Compact

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will support the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration after being satisfied fears about the document are unfounded. More>>


Children's Commissioner: Child Poverty Law "Historic Cause For Celebration"

...It represents a cross-party commitment to a fundamental shift of policy for our most disadvantaged children and should help undo 30 years of damage to children from our most vulnerable families. More>>


Dope News: Binding Cannabis Referendum To Be Held At 2020 Election

The referendum on cannabis for personal use is part of Labour's confidence and supply agreement with the Greens. It could be one of potentially three referenda - decisions have yet to be made about euthanasia and changes to electoral laws. More>>


Vic: Victoria University Name Change Rejected

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has declined Victoria University of Wellington Council’s application for a legal name change. More>>


PM's Post-Cab 17/12/18: Chief Justice, M Bovis

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's final post-cabinet press conference of the year focussed on announcing the appointment of Helen Winkelmann as the next Chief Justice, and an update on effort to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand. More>>


Law Commission Issues Paper: Use Of DNA In Criminal Investigations

In the 22 years since the Act came into force, it has become clear that the modern-day fingerprint analogy is increasingly inapt... Theoretically, whole genome sequencing could ultimately become the standard method of analysing a DNA sample. Such a development will give a new perspective on the concept of genetic surveillance in the criminal context. More>>

State Highways: $1.4 Billion For Road Safety Improvements

The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kilometres of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening. More>>





InfoPages News Channels