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Labour Abandons Maori Victims

Labour Abandons Maori Victims

For all its fine talk and public promotion, the Labour Government does not truly care about Maori - if it did, it would ensure that the Maori community's most vulnerable members would be kept safe from harm, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The Government's refusal to address the police funding problem has left police unable to keep people safe from crime - and yesterday's Victimisation Report shows that Maori are bearing the brunt of this assault," Dr Newman said.

"The report shows that Maori are most likely to be repeat victims of crime. Maori have long been over-represented in crime statistics. They feature as both offenders and, most often, victims - who, like all New Zealanders, deserve to be protected from those who would harm them.

"Yet what has the Government done? It cancelled police recruitment, causing a staff shortage crisis, and slashed police funding from 1.9 percent of total spending to 1.7 percent. Crime is on the rise, police have warned they are not coping, and Maori are suffering.

"Labour claims to care about Maori, so much so that it alienates the wider community. The Government's efforts to uplift Maori would be laudable - were they genuine. Closing the gaps, privilege in legislation and priority in health sound well and good, but do little to console the average Wiremu or Aroha, whose home has been burgled for the fifth time.

"The Government must urgently address the huge problems with police funding. Giving police the means to keep people safe is the only way that the Government can prove that it is genuinely committed to helping not just Maori, but all New Zealanders. Anything less would be to admit that its fine words and announcements are just empty spin," Dr Newman said.

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