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Maori Funding a Problem Across the Board

Maori Funding a Problem Across the Board

National MP Murray McCully and ACT MP Rodney Hide said today that the Te Mangai Paho funding scandal reported on today was just a tip of a very large iceberg.

"Right across government, Helen Clark has created pots of hard-earned taxpayers' cash with `Maori' written across them. Only Maori can access them. Only Maori can distribute them.

"Helen Clark has measured her commitment to Maori simply by how much taxpayers' money she is prepared to shovel out in this way. She has had no concern for any positive results.

"The agencies have struggled to spend the largesse she has heaped on them. The procedures have been sloppy and accountability has been lax.

"Te Mangai Paho has been a disgrace. Minister Parekura Horomia has sat on his hands and done nothing. It has taken a committed opposition months to get any action on this scandal.

"Helen Clark should show she's serious when she mouths off about integrity and fire Horomia. Te Mangai Paho chief Trevor Moeke should also be sacked.

"The funding of Te Mangai Paho should be rolled into New Zealand on Air. At least, that way the money would be wasted with some accountability.

"Separate funding for Maori should stop. It's a recipe for disaster. It only survives because of this Government's bigotry that says Maori can't cut it in the mainstream. That view is racist and is ensuring that Maori are ghettoised and kept dependent.

""If it wasn't for Opposition parties, Te Mangai Paho would have gotten away completely with this scandal. Getting information out of Minister Horomia was like pulling teeth. The information he supplied has now proved to be wrong. This Government just laughs at accountability to the public and to Parliament.

"We will be undertaking a major job comparing the Minister's answers to Parliament with the facts of this report. Never before has a Minister said so little and yet misled so much," Mr Hide and Mr McCully said.

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