Budget delivers big yawn for Maori
Georgina te Heuheu National Maori Affairs Spokesperson
24 May 2002
Budget delivers big yawn for Maori and plays it safe
Budget 2002 delivered so little for Maori that the Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, did not bother even to stay awake during its presentation, National Maori Affairs Spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu said today.
"Maori were mentioned only once in relation to a pilot Maori Trade Training Programme to assist young Maori. That is typical of a Government that talks big and delivers little, other than more bureaucracy, increasing dependency, and vague capacity building programmes.
"The Minister of Maori Affairs seems unable to make the link between wildcat teacher strikes, health cuts, rising benefit levels and more state house dependency, and the ability for Maori to advance their own economic and social independence.
"Two years ago the Budget trumpeted the now discarded "Closing the Gaps" flagship programme which sunk without trace when the Prime Minister decided it offended her wider support base.
"This year with an election looming, the Budget carefully avoids any emphasis on Maori which might turn that same support base off. This shows the arrogance of a Government which pays scant regard to Maori by pandering to their needs with bureaucratic jargon and meaningless programmes," Mrs te Heuheu said.