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Close The Gaps In Your Policies, Labour

Close The Gaps In Your Policies, Labour

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today slammed the Labour Government for continuing to fail Maori, after reports that at least 2,500 Maori use the street drug `P' - a serious problem that is impacting on the lives of around 250,000 Maori.

"These figures, from a Health Ministry commissioned report, are an indictment of Labour's claims to be uplifting Maori and `closing the gaps' - while pouring money into Maori education, health, capacity building and broadcasting, the Government is failing Maori at this most basic level," Dr Newman said.

"Meth is a drug that crosses all social borders - from high-flying Wellington professionals to Northland schoolchildren - and is extremely damaging to a culture based on the whanau unit. Maori, police and the wider community all agree that the meth problem is out of control.

"These warnings, however, are falling on deaf ears, with Labour continuing to drag its feet. Methamphetamines have only recently been re-classified as a Class-A drug, the police methamphetamine response unit is not funded to start until 2004, and the Government still has not allocated a specific crime code to enable more effective reporting of meth crime.

"Labour is not uplifting Maori, it simply claims to, out of desperation to keep Maori voters on side. But while picking `winners' from Maoridom, the Government has abandoned the wider Maori community. Their spin may be appealing but, in reality, Labour's only legacy to Maori will be entrenched welfare and drug dependency," Dr Newman said.

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