Government's Deceptive Spin On Closing The Gaps
Evidence from the Chief Executive of CYFS to a select committee today indicates that the Government's rebranding of Closing the Gaps is nothing more than a hollow piece of public relations, National MP Bob Simcock said today.
"The racially divisive path Labour initially set out on was unpalatable to the public, prompting the Government to rebrand the policy as being for all people on low incomes, not just Maori.
"But the more we examine this issue the more apparent it becomes that this rebranding was political spin-doctoring at work, and the actual agencies enacting Closing the Gaps policies hadn't been told to change their plans one iota.
"CYFS Chief Executive Jackie Brown, under direct questioning today, said her department had received no advice from the Government about this supposed refocus.
"And the answers to written questions presented by CYFS to the select committee today show that as far as CYFS is concerned the old definition of Closing the Gaps still applies in all of their dealings.
"That means money given to the service for Closing the Gaps activities can still only be allocated to Maori service providers servicing Maori people. That completely ignores the fact that a large number of Maori opt to use mainstream providers, who are not eligible for this funding.
"The Government is engaging in a dangerous game of selective spin, pretending to change its agenda to play to the wider public, while actually changing nothing for fear of getting off-side with its powerful Maori caucus.
"That's duplicitous behaviour, which is highly inappropriate," Bob Simcock said.