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Government anniversary falls flat

Georgina te Heuheu

National Maori Spokesperson

29th November 2002

Government anniversary falls flat

The big fanfare about advancing Maori development that accompanied the Labour Government's taking power in 1999 has translated into a whimper three years on, says National's Maori spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu.

'In the course of this week I have touched base with Maori in a range of sectors - health, tertiary education, broadcasting, the arts, business and the disappointment at the governments lack of delivery is foremost," Mrs te Heuheu said.

There is universal agreement that the government's first three years has been characterised by a lot of hui, a lot of talk, but not much else she said.

"The minister of Maori affairs, Parekura Horomia is a perfect example of the Governments approach. All talk, no delivery.

"In many cases the three years has actually seen the creation of more barriers to progress, particularly in business, where there is a growing segment of Maori.

"By the Minister's own measures - Closing the Gaps, establishing Maori Television and resolving the fisheries he has failed.

"Recent reports that 1 in 3 children live in poverty, that there is alarming increase in type two diabetes and that New Zealand's illiteracy rate is running at 10% or more indicates an increasing gap in achievement levels which puts paid to the Minister's trumpeting of closing gaps.

"His recent inability to put a timeframe around establishing limits and the extent of Fisheries commissioners warrants adds up to failure on his own scorecard," she said.

"Actions speak louder than words. The lack of action has definitely not gone unnoticed by the Maori electorate. This government is definitely on notice," said Mrs te Heuheu.


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