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Official papers confirm Labour is failing Maori

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokeswoman

18 January 2004

Official papers confirm Labour is failing Maori

National Party Maori Affairs spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu says a leaked report out today confirms the Labour Government is failing Maori. "Despite all the talk and all the poorly focussed hand-outs - Maori are still falling behind in key areas."

Reports today say the leaked Social Development Ministry papers show - among other things - that the gap between Maori and Pakeha life expectancy is growing. The report also highlights growing gaps in early childhood education and university degree status.

"The Government is pouring millions of dollars into so-called 'Capacity Building', so where are the results?

"There's nothing here for the Government to celebrate.

"Many of the successes came from areas beyond its reach or initiatives put in place before Labour's time.

"Maori employment for example, has been helped along by a buoyant world economy and high commodity prices.

"And while the Government crows about the numbers now engaged in gaining tertiary qualifications, there's a question mark hanging over the economic value of some courses.

"Four years ago this week Helen Clark launched 'Closing the Gaps' amid much fanfare. The name has changed but the programme continues to this day.

"The bottom line is that this Government's agenda is failing. It's generating resentment and suspicion.

"With these results as a back-drop, Helen Clark like so many Maori, has nothing to celebrate this Waitangi Day," says Mrs te Heuheu.

Ends

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