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Time For Maori Caucus To Front Up

Time For Maori Caucus To Front Up

ACT New Zealand Social welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today released new information showing the number of Maori children being raised on welfare, and expressed sorrow that these damning figures were painting a grim picture for the future of Maoridom.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that, since Labour took office, the number of Maori children being raised on welfare has increased almost 23 percent - to 98,426 - as of the end of March 2004," Dr Newman said.

"If ever there were a sign of Labour's failure in Government, it is the fact that almost half of the 200,000 Maori children throughout New Zealand are being raised on welfare.

"All evidence shows that children raised on benefits are more likely to be victims of disadvantage - abuse, educational failure, and poor health. This situation, where half of Maoridom's next generation is growing up in families where they are at risk, is unacceptable.

"I demand to know what Labour intends to do about this. New Zealanders, especially Maori, deserve answers - as does every Maori child who is taken into CYF care, who is admitted to A&E, or who starts school unable to even recognise basic colours and shapes.

"The Maori caucus was elected, by Maori, to look out for Maori interests. At the moment, under Labour, the future of Maori society is looking increasingly bleak indeed. I demand to know just what the Maori caucus plans to do to turn this situation around," Dr Newman said.

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