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Hide Wrong (Again)

4 March 2002

“It’s not clear that Rodney Hide is on the same planet as the rest of us,” said Jim Anderton Deputy Prime Minister who was surprised to see Rodney Hide’s attack on the jobs machine as being “nutty and racist” for not supporting Maori businesses.

“I’m not surprised so much because he’s wrong, he usually is, but I am surprised at his ‘pro-Waitangi Treaty’ stance. Last year Rodney Hide was attacking me for working on Treaty issues which he said needed to be put behind us. He should make up his mind and decide what it is that ACT wants.

“I have to admit though that Rodney Hide and nutty do go together.

“Maori, like all groups in our community are a major part of the jobs machine. All the Regional Partnership Plans involve Iwi. In the case of the only region to be granted its full allocation of $2 million, Waikato, Tainui are heavily involved.

“The Wood Processing Strategy led by Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development, has resulted in more Maori being trained, more jobs for Maori, and a Maori forestry company receiving a Business Growth Grant.

“Eight of the 42 BIZ providers, (nearly 20 per cent), which assist small businesses are Maori-based organisations.

“Many other individual Maori as well as Maori businesses have been supported and funded. However not all programmes register information on ethnicity. In many cases you can’t classify a business as solely Maori, because there is no criteria for the number of Maori staff, or ownership by Maori which would qualify for the description ‘Maori business’.

“Many other organisations have Maori involved as staff or as board members and work with Maori. However they are not listed as Maori organisations but they aren’t necessarily Pakeha or Pacific Island organisations either.

“Rodney Hide, as usual, is being divisive. He should learn to celebrate all New Zealand businesses for their success rather than trying to work out whether they are Maori or Pakeha,” said Jim Anderton.

Ends

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