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Race review 'large hammer for a small problem'

13 August, 2004

Govt race review 'large hammer for a small problem'

The Green Party today questioned the scope and speed of the Government's review of 'targeted policies and programmes', calling it a race-based sop to appease the divisive rhetoric of the right.

Green MP Metiria Turei, the Party's Ethnic Affairs spokesperson, said the review would unfairly judge policies on the colour of the people involved rather than assessing their effectiveness in addressing social issues.

"The Government claims to be looking forward rather than in the rear-view mirror, but this review has only come about because of the foul stench of the National Party breathing down the Government's neck," said Metiria.

"The scope and the speed of this review will mean that policies are judged on the skin-colour of the groups targeted. The policies coming under the microscope are ones that reach out to the Maori and Pacific Island communities and this is unjust, discriminatory and regressive," she said.

Metiria said it made sense to address the needs of particular demographics and sectors of the population.

"You can't deny that different ethnic groups look different from each other, just the same as you can't deny that there are health and social issues that affect certain ethnic groups differently.

"It makes perfect sense to target certain socio-economic and ethnic groups where the needs are the greatest and there are particular concerns that affect these groups.

"Ironically, even the 'colour blind' Nats realise this. Why else would they have appointed a Men's Health spokesperson in Paul Hutchison this week?" she asked.


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