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Brash wants to hack Maori heart out of Kiwi body

Brash wants to hack Maori heart out of Kiwi body

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says National's plan to axe several key Maori government agencies is yet another sign that Don Brash wants to turn Maori into brown Pakeha.

"National would deny what will soon be a quarter of our children the chance to grow up understanding and celebrating their own heritage," Ms Fitzsimons said. "Kiwis are proud of our country's unique Maori identity, yet Don Brash wants to hide it away."

"While the vast majority of New Zealanders want to celebrate and foster Maori culture, Don Brash seems determined to obliterate it. At the very time New Zealanders are marvelling at the new All Black haka, which showcases our Maori heritage to the world, Dr Brash is sharpening his scalpel to cut the Maori heart and soul out of New Zealand's body."

Ms Fitzsimons said Te Puni Kokiri, Te Mangai Paho and other Maori agencies set for the chopping block under National had done wonderful work in emboldening and supporting Maori New Zealanders, and didn't deserve to be demonised by the National Party.

"It is entirely appropriate for Central Government to reflect New Zealand's unique Maori heritage and the Treaty relationship that underpins our nation.

"Don Brash may have been an accomplished economist, but he's a wretched historian. Maori have enjoyed a marked improvement in social statistics in the past 30 years, in no small part as a result of policies aimed at healing the wounds of our past and ensuring Maori can achieve everything they aspire to achieve. However, Dr Brash seems oblivious to this fact and is determined to undermine the very policies that have helped bring about the Maori cultural and economic renaissance.

"National wishes to deny this greater social cohesion and Maori achievement and turn the clock back. It wants New Zealand to embrace the assimiliationist policies that were tried and failed in Australia.

"The Australian Government's assimilationist policies led only to premature death, poverty, despair and societal breakdown, and New Zealand should have no part of them. We should be moving forward as a proud, socially cohesive nation, not a negative, divided, mean-spirited one."

Green Maori Affairs Spokesperson Metiria Turei said the National Party was trying to deny the cultural authenticity of Maori.

"When Don Brash says 'We're all New Zealanders', he means 'I want Maori to be just like Pakeha in every respect'. He wants to make Maori into brown Pakeha and deny the state has any role in allowing Maori decision-making in Central Government.

"While Brash might argue that the disparities between Maori and non-Maori are irrelevant, what he really wants is for Pakeha, not Maori, to be making decisions about the needs and development of tangata whenua."

ENDS

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