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Alexander: Desperate ACT bashing Maori

Alexander: Desperate ACT bashing Maori

New Zealanders should give no credence to ACT's "racially-driven claptrap", United Future's Marc Alexander said today.

"Leaked documents late last year gave their rather cynical game away, and is the context in which New Zealanders should view their latest shabby attempt at Maori-bashing," Mr Alexander said.

"The simple fact is that they never have and never will give a damn about Maori and Maori aspirations, despite their rather po-faced utterances to the contrary.

"ACT is the party without a heart, and this latest effort proves that. It is cynicism of the nastiest type," he said.

"While critical scrutiny of policy must be encouraged whether it's politically palatable or not, the idea of shifting policy responsibilities on to an ethnic group is utterly repugnant. Just how, for example, can ACT count the disproportionate costs of Maori inmates in our prison system as a benefit to Maori? Why should an individual's use of the public health system be recorded as a benefit to the ethnicity of that individual rather than a treatment for a specific illness?

"By the same twisted line of logic perhaps we should begin assessing the tax/benefit of tall versus short people; those who are skinny; bald or belong to certain clubs and hobby groups.

"The simple truth is that while we are many cultures, we are one people. We sink or swim together and to spew out a media-grabbing so-called controversial 'study' only encourages a bigoted few, and further sews the seeds of division and disharmony.

"Instead of focusing on those families who are being marginalised and disempowered by this Government's head-long embrace of vote-gathering dependency through increased benefits and higher taxes, ACT is aiming at the wrong target.

"That some in the ACT caucus have misgivings about the release of their 'study' further undermines the party's integrity.

"Prebble can't have it both ways. He cannot on the one hand say that ACT does not support this type of racial profiling, and then go ahead and do it anyway."

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