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Politically-driven, racially-based fund - McCully

Murray McCully National MP for Albany

21 June 2002

Politically-driven, racially-based fund - McCully

Over $17 million in grants to 2019 Maori organisations have been attacked by National MP Murray McCully as "a politically-driven , racially-based slush fund."

Mr McCully says the grants listed by Te Puni Kokiri in a response to a Parliamentary Question are not monitored and that evaluation criteria won't even be agreed on until the end of the month. (See answer to PQ 006178).

The grants range from $156 to $160,000. Smaller grants are typically for such purposes as holding a hui or a wänanga, with grants in many cases being given to family groups. The Aotearoa Maori Table Tennis Association received $1,150 for a national wänanga.

Larger grants include $65,000 to Ngati Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa Maori Executive "to determine the current financial position of the organisation."

Ngai Tahu Development Corporation received $120,000 "to collect information about rünanga social, cultural and economic aspirations."

"Having been given a $170 million Treaty settlement, Ngai Tahu have obviously developed higher social, cultural and economic aspirations, which are clearly much more expensive to measure," said Mr McCully.

Ngati Awa Research and Archives Trust received $114,000 "to assess research and survey the 22 hapu of Ngati Awa" and Te Runanga o te Rarawa received $79,000 "to review current organisational structure, develop database and website, skill development and training for rangitahi in remote rural areas, assess needs and priorities of marae, and develop a marae development/plan structure."

"These grants are a complete outrage. They are called capacity building grants, but it is clear that it is the political capacity of the Labour Party which they are designed to build.

"The fact that the evaluation framework has not yet been constructed means there is zero accountability. How enormously convenient that the evaluation criteria will not be available until next year, when the money is long gone and the election is over.

"Many non-Maori New Zealanders especially those who are used to paying for their own family reunions will rightly conclude that there are two different standards of citizenship in this country," Mr McCully said.


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