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Figures show Labour is failing Maori

Figures show Labour is failing Maori

New figures reveal Government policies are failing those in need, allowing the 'development and growth of a Maori underclass,' says National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

Mrs Rich is referring to statistics compiled by the NZ Council of Christian Social Services which says 'New Zealand seems to have created a poverty trap that many Maori can't climb out of'.

"This research confirms the National Party position that the Labour Government's patronising approach to Maori and its passive acceptance of welfare dependency is not helping break the cycle of poverty.

"National has identified that long-term welfare dependence is one of the main issues facing New Zealand.

"The current soft approach to welfare is not working, and this Labour Government has run out of ideas.

"Last week's 'Jobs Joke' announcement is a classic example.

"It's absurd for the Government to declare 259 towns off limits to the unemployed, when 123 of those towns didn't have a single person registered as being on the unemployment benefit last October.

"National supports some kind of community work for those who have been on the unemployment benefit for extensive periods of time. Overseas research shows the mere suggestion of that has had a positive affect on employment rates.

"We need to tackle the culture of welfare dependency among all New Zealanders, including Maori. Poverty is not a race issue, it is a national issue," says Mrs Rich.

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