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Maori Affairs Select Committee Presentation

The Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Parekura Horomia welcomed today's opportunity to address the Maori Affairs Select committee.

Mr Horomia said he accepted the invitation in order to reassure the committee that the government remained fully committed to its Maori work programme and also the vision of reducing disparities for all New Zealanders.

"We only dropped the slogan. We haven't stopped the work. I believe Maori people are already beginning to feel real benefit from the government's work programme. Some examples are the income related state rentals, the awarding of 320 teacher trainee scholarships and today's payment* to all college of education, universities, polytechnics and wananga to support Maori students to complete their qualifications.

The Minister of Maori Affairs said almost all government agencies have work programmes that target Maori outcomes and that means his cabinet colleagues are also responsible for ensuring their departments deliver.

"I can assure you that we all take this responsibility very seriously and that we share a collective commitment to succeeding right across the state sector."

Mr Horomia also told the Maori Affairs Select Committee that he is personally playing a leadership role amongst his cabinet colleagues and wants his department,Te Puni Kokiri, to do the same.

"I have impressed on the new chief executive that it is essential for Te Puni Kokiri to set the lead in terms of delivering programmes on time and on target. It is essential so that Maori communities receive the resources that they are entitled to but also because other government agencies will follow the example set by the Ministry of Maori Development."

Mr Horomia said that he welcomed the specific interest the Maori Affairs Select committee was taking in assessing the effectiveness of service delivery to Maori and encouraged them to keep up the good work.

*The 38 tertiary education institutions will receive $18million over four years to support Maori students to complete their qualifications.

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