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$6 Million Grant Is Vote-Buying

Wednesday 6 Feb 2002

ACT leader Richard Prebble said from Waitangi today that the $6 million of taxpayers` money to be spent on Maori technology providers and other selected Maori groups, is just reckless vote-buying.

"There's no objective evidence that this taxpayers' money in any way assists Maori. Nor has the government explained why Maori in areas such as Gisborne should get this assistance - but with nothing for non-Maori," Mr Prebble said.

"ACT says government assistance should be needs-based."

ACT's nine MPs all attended Waitangi Day functions today. MP Donna Awatere-Huata was asked to escort the Prime Minister safely through protesters.

Mr Prebble, speaking on the lower marae, said ACT supports Maori being able to have greater choices in health and education - something ACT also supports for all New Zealanders.

"The ACT Party strongly supports the principles of the Treaty which guarantees property rights and, with its granting of British citizenship, equality before the law - both strong ACT principles," Mr Prebble said.


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