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Maori need not apply

4 August, 2004

Maori need not apply

Green MP Metiria Turei is warning that the public service is going to have a lot of vacancies to fill if it continues to insist on gagging Maori from speaking out about issues that vitally affect them.

"Maori are being robbed by the Government's foreshore legislation and they're being further insulted and demeaned on a weekly basis by Dr Brash and his 'one nation' rhetoric," said Metiria, the Green Party's Maori Affairs spokesperson.

"Yet the instant they raise their voice in protest or even in warning, the full force of state disapproval comes down on the them like a ton of bricks.

"The current witch-hunt against Maori public servants who dare to hold a political opinion reeks of old-time colonial control, when subject people were expected to 'know their place' in the white man's scheme of things.

"The latest victims of this public service vendetta are the Maori Language Commission CEO and a senior Labour Department official: two hard-working Maori who have served this country well and yet have committed the unforgivable 'crime' of voicing their concern at the way this country is heading.

"Well, here's a wake-up call for the PM, the State Services Commissioner and the whole National caucus: everything we do is political. If you're the sort of person who can make a difference to this country, then you're the sort of person whose commitment isn't restricted just to office-hours.

"If we don't want concerned, passionate people to serve us, then the next advert for a public service vacancy should specify that 'Maori need not apply'."


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