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Support for Maori economic development

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Parekura Horomia
Minister of Maori Affairs

26 August 2005 Media Statement

Support for Maori economic development

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said today that Maoridom is experiencing an extraordinary renaissance which is of profound importance to the future of all New Zealand.

Helen Clark said Maori are making a strong contribution to the economic, social, and cultural fabric of New Zealand, and it is vitally important that Maori development accelerates further.

"Our Labour-led government’s strong and inclusive education, employment and enterprise policies mean that more Maori are working and upskilling than at any time in our history - and our polices ensure that progress continues to move forward.

"Maori economic development has prospered as the country has done well under Labour. The Maori economy itself, although small, is comparatively profitable, and Maori business is exporting at a significantly higher rate than does the New Zealand economy as a whole.

"Labour will continue to support Maori business development through:

- the Maori Business Facilitation Service;

- the Maori Regional Tourism Organisations and the National Maori Tourism Council;

- encouraging an enterprise culture amongst Maori that includes a focus on research and development; and

- by supporting development of quality and capable governance structures for Maori organisations which now control significant assets and revenue flows.”

Parekura Horomia said one of Labour's key pledges this election is a policy for all historical Treaty claims to be lodged by 1 September 2008, with the aim of settling all claims by 2020.

"We recognise the importance for Maori and for all of New Zealand of settling all historical Treaty claims as soon as possible. The acknowledgement and settlement of grievances provide iwi with an economic and cultural platform to move forward," Parekura Horomia said.

"We believe in celebrating Maori successes – across education, arts and culture, business and sport. We believe in strong whanau and a strong future.

"We will also continue to support the will of Maori to retain the Maori seats in Parliament as a means to maintain fair and inclusive representation.

“Labour’s Maori Policy is a forward thinking package that when combined with initiatives like Working for Families, Kiwi Saver, the Well Child initiative announced earlier this week, and the elimination of interest on student loans, will assist Maori to reach their full potential," said Mr Horomia.

ENDS

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