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Unemployment a big issue for many Maori

Unemployment a big issue for many Maori - someone tell te Heuheu

Although New Zealand's total average unemployment rate is near 15 year lows at below 5%, unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels for far too many Maori, Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton, said in Parliament today.

"New Zealand is on the way to being a full-employment economy again.

"But while the Labour Progressive coalition is making progress and it is good that unemployment is no longer around 10% as it was when National was in government a decade ago, it should be unacceptable to all New Zealanders that the unemployment rate among Maori remains significantly above the national average," he said.

"New Zealand won't succeed unless all of our people are participating in our success. It is crucial to ensure that all New Zealanders are on the road to achieving full employment, a point acknowledged by National MP, Georgina te Heuheu, on Radio NZ this morning," Jim Anderton said.

"Regional development and jobs go hand in hand with industry and economic development. It also goes hand in hand with investment ? the sort of investment this coalition is making every day, but which wouldn't be made under a National-led administration because it wouldn't have any funds left to invest with after all of the planned tax cuts for those already on high incomes," he said.

"Full employment for all New Zealanders won't be achieved by adopting the policies we've heard about this week from National, ACT and United Future which are coalition partners for the NZ First Party after the next election.

"Tax cuts for those already on high incomes, the selling down of government assets and cuts to government investment in industry and regional development won't achieve economic or social development for Maori or Pakeha New Zealanders," the Progressive leader said.

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