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From watch-dog to lap-dog on Treaty clauses

Gerry Brownlee MP - National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

03 March 2005

From watch-dog to lap-dog on Treaty clauses

"He was supposed to be the watchdog from Wainuiomata on race issues, instead he's become the lap-dog to Labour's double standard on the Treaty," says National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"For the second time in as many weeks, a senior Cabinet Minister is advertising for a staff member that 'Achieves Effectiveness For Maori'.

According to the in-house advertisement for a Ministerial secretary in David Benson-Pope's office, the successful applicant must work 'to ensure their (Maori) specific needs are identified and met, and to create a positive work environment for Maori'.

The internal advertisement also says the candidate must show an 'awareness of the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi' and show an 'understanding of issues for Maori in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi and government policy'.

"Just last week National caught out the Race Relations Minister for exactly the same sort of advertisement. Of course Trevor Mallard was supposed to have spent the past year clearing up vague references to the Treaty.

"In trying to defend the indefensible last week, he claimed the appointments and the job descriptions were not his responsibility, yet the advertisement for David Benson-Pope's office is explicit," says Mr Brownlee.

The advertisement reads 'the style and culture of a Ministerial office is set by the Minister/Parliamentary Under Secretary's individual preferences and personality. Therefore while the day to day fundamental operations will be similar from office to office, the particular modus operandi may vary from Minister to Minister or Parliamentary Under Secretary'.

"Trevor Mallard has had a year to look at getting more consistency in the way Treaty references are being applied to Government jobs but he has shown no interest.

"The next National Government won't require public servants to subscribe to a particular view of the Treaty," says Mr Brownlee.

For full job profile visit: http://www.dia.govt.nz/VacsApps.nsf/jobprofile/MinisSecBenPopeEGS/$file/Vac-05-049MinisSecBenPopeJobProf.doc

ENDS

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