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Lots of heat but little light in race review

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

12 August 2004

Lots of heat but little light in race review

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the Government is moving to bury its so-called review of race-based policies until the end of the year.

"How interesting it is that Trevor Mallard chose the last day of the current session of Parliament to release this propaganda. Of course it was released after question time had begun to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny.

"The Government is so frightened by this issue that it has denied Opposition parties their democratic right to challenge Labour's claims in the house.

"I am seeking an assurance from the Government that it will make its report available long before the house rises at the end of the year. We will not accept a sneaky repeat of the foreshore and seabed announcements.

"It says something of this review when its purpose is to 'assure' ministers and the public that Labour's policies are based on need rather than race.

"If Mr Mallard wants an assurance from his officials you can bet that's precisely what he'll get.

"There is absolutely no promise of action, just some wishy washy review which will be conducted by many of the experts who introduced those race based policies in the first instance.

"The National Party is absolutely committed to lifting Maori and Pacific Island educational achievement, health and welfare - but we believe all Government initiatives should be founded on the basis of need not race.

"Until the Government accepts its race based agenda is dividing rather than uniting New Zealand, our country will continue heading down the dangerous path to racial separatism," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS


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