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Time For Maori Caucus To Look Out For Maori

Time For Maori Caucus To Look Out For Maori

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today accused Labour's Maori caucus of spending too much time on the foreshore contemplating the seabed, and not enough time trying to ensure a decent future for wider Maori society.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that, as of the end of March 2004, 41 percent of all children being raised in DPB led homes - and 36 percent in Unemployment Benefit led homes - were Maori," Dr Newman said.

"Research shows that children who grow up dependent on welfare will suffer poorer outcomes in life than those with one or two working parents. Unless something happens to make these 77,987 children independent of the DPB, and 8,095 independent of dole, they will fail.

"But what is the Maori caucus doing about this? Nothing. It seems that in all the commotion over the foreshore and seabed, Labour's Maori MPs are ignoring the biggest danger facing Maori society in our time.

"Here we have a minority population accounting for the largest numbers of benefit-dependent children, and their Parliamentary representatives are busy fighting for rights to marine farming and aquaculture.

"Maori MPs are elected to look out for the interests of all Maori, but the Maori caucus has allowed itself to be distracted. I am calling on Labour's Maori MPs to get back into the game and ensure a better future for all Maori," Dr Newman said.

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