Smith's Document Demonstrates Nats Hypocrisy
Lockwood Smith's Document Of Accountability Demonstrates National Party Hypocrisy
Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey says that it was standard practice over the course of the 1990s for governments to require departments and agencies to encourage participation by Maori, Pacific peoples, and groups disadvantaged in the labour market.
"It is rank hypocrisy now for the National Party and their fellow travellers to claim that the Labour-Alliance Government is promoting race-based policies".
The Document of Accountability between the Government and the Education and Training Support Agency for the 1993-94 year – signed by Lockwood Smith as Education Minister – provides quite explicitly for participation targets.
It requires the Agency to "actively pursue parity in outcomes" for Maori and Pacific Island (sic) people
It provides for equity targets for Maori, Pacific peoples, and women
It provides quantified participation targets for Maori and Pacific peoples trainees
"It was quite proper for the government of the day to seek to encourage higher levels of participation by groups typically disadvantaged in the labour market.
"It is still a right and proper thing to do – this Government is committed to attacking disadvantage wherever it occurs, and to targeting policies where disadvantage is most concentrated.
"If the National Party now wants to repudiate everything that it did in the past so be it. But I expect every former National Party Cabinet Member to explain why they supported targeted interventions then, but attack them now. Perhaps Lockwood Smith would like to be the first to do so," Steve Maharey said.