Govt. Turns Record Keeping Into Profit Taking
13 November 2001
Government Seizes The Chance To Turn Record Keeping Into Profit Taking-Peters
“The recent decision by the Government to substantially increase the charges for accessing information or records held by its department of Births Deaths and Marriages, will come as a most unpleasant surprise when they are required to now pay a grossly inflated rate for the service”, claimed Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First and Member for Tauranga.
“For those who choose to search out this information in order to establish family trees or merely ascertain their lines of heritage, many of whom are individuals on fixed incomes, the new scale of charges will become a significant financial burden and may in fact deter many from carrying out this very informative and enlightening work. It is a scandal to profit in the way Government has done over these charges and their unilateral imposition indicates contempt for the efforts of taxpayers and displays a callous disregard, toward those who have no choice than to use this service in order to carry out their personal research”, Mr Peters said.
“I am particularly intrigued by the complete silence and total inaction by the Maori members of the Government who have done their constituent members yet another grave disservice by remaining silent when a decision which will have a major impact on Maori, who are significant users of the service, will so adversely effect their research into whanau and hapu. It seems that the willingness of Government backbenchers to go along with their Ministerial superiors, indicates the complete subjugation of Maori members has now occurred”, suggested Mr Peters, “and the silence of the Ministers of Heritage, Culture, Maori Affairs and Senior Citizens, indicates they too have sidelined themselves from active interest in their portfolios,” concluded Mr Peters.