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Labour’s fingerprints all over wananga

Labour’s fingerprints all over wananga

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee is describing Labour’s move to appoint a ‘ministerial observer’ at Te Wananga O Aoteraroa as a “complete nonsense”.

“Steve Maharey already makes four ministerial appointments to the board including the current chairman. Either he’s lost faith in the people he has appointed, or he is looking to further extend Labour’s tentacles into an organisation that receives almost quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer funds annually.

“Labour claims to have had concerns about the wananga for some time. If that’s so, why hasn’t the Minister called the board to account long before now. Steve Maharey’s been caught out and he is now frantically covering his backside.

“If he’s not happy with the performance of the board he should sack them, not appoint an observer.”

Meanwhile, Mr Brownlee says the suggestion from Te Wananga O Aoteraroa that the Crown has not honoured its Treaty settlement with the organisation “is a red herring”.

“This is about the proper prudent use of taxpayer money set aside for providing our kids with a quality education system. Whether Labour has honoured the terms of an earlier Treaty settlement is completely separate to the current discussion,” Mr Brownlee says.

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