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Turia supports Horomia ‘absolutely’

Turia supports Horomia ‘absolutely’

Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia says she has ‘absolute confidence’ in Parekura Horomia as Minister of Maori Affairs.

“A Minister’s ability should not be judged solely on their performance during three hours out of an 80-hour week – where immature and disrespectful point-scoring during Question Time creates an environment I wouldn’t expose my grandchildren to,” says Turia.

“I wonder what school children think, watching behaviour by MPs that would not be tolerated at school. It is justified in Parliament as ‘rigorous scrutiny’. Defiance of authority earns MPs a 24-hour suspension, but students who do no worse than that can have their lives ruined forever by suspension from school.

“Students who were at the recent young Maori leadership conference have told me that Parekura was one of the best presenters, easy to listen to and understand, and the most sincere.

“There wouldn’t be another Minister in Parliament who has such a wide-ranging and complex portfolio, which reaches across the whole spectrum of other Ministers’ responsibilities.

“So it is very easy to be critical of Te Puni Kokiri, on the basis of a couple of mistakes, or the performance of a couple of individuals. That does not mean the entire organisation is failing.

“I am sure that the policies, systems and procedures in Te Puni Kokiri are just as robust as those of other Crown agencies. All have aspects of weakness.

“I prefer to focus on the positive rather than the negatives – for example, the 99% of Te Mangai Paho contracts that have been fulfilled, generating benefits for our people and the whole nation, while I acknowledge the 1% that defaulted, and the failings of one ‘recalcitrant’ employee.

“Recent events make me wonder if a 99% success rate in Maori initiatives is not good enough for some people,” she said.

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