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"Partnerships" Come at a Price

Gerry Brownlee
National Local Government Spokesman

20 November 2002

"Partnerships" Come at a Price

Papers released by the National Party today show local authorities are already spending large sums to consult with Maori, according to National's Local Government spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"For example the Hamilton City Council is paying more than $350,000 and it's only going to get worse," Mr Brownlee says.

"They're spending close to $200,000 on one tribe so they can 'engage in the development and operation of the partnership.'

"A second tribe gets $80,000 for 'helping to foster harmonious relationships.'

"And Hamilton City's committed another $75,000 to support capacity building for groups actively working with Maori and Pacific Island Communities," says Mr Brownlee.

"Now take the Hutt City Council, they're paying at least $35,000 to two local tribes, and they've also agreed to grant them access to a further $10,000 from the city's community development fund," says Mr Brownlee.

"Not only that, but these groups are being given an inside track on Council decisions.

"Among the clauses; prior consultation on issues of importance, information sharing and the right to call meetings on matters of mutual interest.

"In some cases these deals with local Maori include the sharing of confidential and potentially commercially sensitive information," Mr Brownlee says.

"To make matters worse, a large number of local authorities in New Zealand still haven't come up with a plan on how to attack this issue.

"Take the Ashburton and the MacKenzie District Councils, neither have policies in place to deal with Maori, now they too might have to face the extra costs associated with this proposed law," says Mr Brownlee.


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