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Build On The Buzz

The Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Parekura Horomia said it is important to build on the buzz created by the Ngati Porou East Coast rugby team success in the NPC rugby competition.

The Minister has spent the day in Wairoa and Gisborne with the Deputy Prime Minister Hon Jim Anderton, completing stage one of the Tairawhiti Development Taskforce project.

Over the past six months the Taskforce has brought together the community, businesses, local and central government agencies to identify issues for the region and develop plans to go forward.

The Minister said he has been impressed by the enthusiasm by everyone to participate.

"Maori from Potaka to Mohaka have become involved with industry, local and central government and together have told us there are better ways to get the region and its people going."

Mr Horomia said there have also been some immediate gains such as Project Rorohiko which will see the introduction of 1281 computers into schools and the community, a MAF position to look at ways to increase profitability for Mäori land operations.

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the success in the NPC third division competition has generated a buzz and excitement in the region.

"The decision to move up into the second division is a sign of their willingness to meet the challenges and the risks of going forward. It is the same with the work of the Taskforce."

Ministers Anderton and Horomia will be handing over the first report of the Taskforce to the community today. The occasion will also see the handing back of the responsibility of the task force to the community.

Mr Horomia said he will keep an eye on the project and will work to ensure all government agencies support the next phase, the development and implementation of real local level solutions.

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