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Budget fails to deliver for Maori

Budget fails to deliver for Maori

Maori will not be impressed by Budget 2003, which effectively mainstreams them further, boosts Te Puni Kokiri's 'sheriff' activities and throws more money at the troubled Maori TV service," according to National Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu.

'In contrast to the Labour Government's 2000 Budget which rolled out the red carpet for Maori, this Budget carefully avoids any particular focus for Maori.

"Clearly, Labour is looking to send a message to its core voters and address growing public anxiety over the handling of Maori issues," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"None of the initiatives announced in the 'no growth' Budget will necessarily improve the lives of ordinary Maori families struggling to live their daily lives.

"My bet is that even the Government's own Maori MP 's are not impressed," she says.

"Over the past three years Maori electorate MP's have seen millions go into the mainstream only to get soaked up by the bureaucracy, with the benefits to Maori impossible to assess because Ministers and chief executives refuse to be audited.

"Adding to their frustration, the Maori Affairs Vote for the coming year indicates a reduction in the spend for development activities (policy and facilitation and brokerage), but an increase in the area of State Sector Performance.

"In other words, more money for Te Puni Kokiri to act out the farce of playing sheriff to big spending agencies that refuse to be tied down," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"That spending will add nothing to the development of Maori.

"Throwing more money at Maori television, with its history of continuing debacles is of no help to them either," Mrs te Heuheu concluded.

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