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Brash challenged over ‘one size fits all’ policy

Brash challenged over ‘one size fits all’ social policy

National leader Don Brash was challenged in Parliament this afternoon to explain how his ‘one size fits all’ approach to the delivery of social services would assist disadvantaged New Zealanders.

Speaking in the debate on the Prime Minister’s statement, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said the government had made measurable inroads into the social deficit built up during the 1990s. He said the targeting of social services to better meet the particular needs of individual groups is delivering real results.

“Don Brash and the National Party need to explain what they mean when they say they want all New Zealanders treated the same way.

“The government’s social policies are delivered on the basis of need but we tailor what people get to fit their specific needs.

“The National Party say they do not like this approach but do not say what this will mean in practice.

“For example, Kura Kupa Maori schools are based on the idea of students learning in the Maori language. National argue that no Maori exist because it is hard to find a “full-blooded Maori” – so does this mean they will close all Kura?

“If not what does their policy actually mean?

Steve Maharey said that the government would continue to fund programmes aimed at Maori and any other group experiencing greater disadvantage.

“Policies are aimed at improving outcomes for all New Zealanders, but we do tailor services on the basis of ethnicity, age, gender, region, disability and many other factors.

“National needs to tell New Zealanders how their one size fits all approach will make life better for them,” Steve Maharey said.

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