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Labour says Maori Don't Matter

Budget 2006 : Reallocation; Regurgitation; and Ruaki Labour says Maori Don't Matter

Tariana Turia; Co-leader, Maori Party

The Maori Party today agreed with the analysis of former Labour Cabinet Minister, John Tamihere, "that this Budget would be very good for the Maori Party because of its lack of attention to Maori matters".

RNZ's Waatea Report revealed the comments from former Labour MP prior to the Budget release this afternoon.

"It's all very well the Finance Minister using flash words to impress - that there would be a 'reallocation' from existing initiatives - to "better position Maori to build and leverage off their collective resources.....to improve their quality of life"....but we want to know, what does it all mean?" asked Tariana Turia, co-leader, Maori Party.

"Nothing for Maori" said Mrs Turia.

"What the 2006 Budget does is to strip money from the meagre Maori Votes across Government and put it into their new bureauspeak policy ideas".

"The real losers in this Budget are the eight to nine thousand Maori students who used to rely on Manaaki Tauira funding to give them access to education".

"The losers in this Budget are those Maori and Pacific students who are being denied the Maori and Polynesian Scholarships which have been instrumental in helping these communities access tertairy education".

"The losers of this budget are the 230,000 children living in poverty who's parents are denied the 'In-Work Payments' of the Working for Families Package".

"The Maori Party asks - why pick on our children and young people to prop up policy packages for a Government that wants to conjure up some creative cosmetic surgery to make it look as if they have a commitment to Maori?".

"We will be demanding of the Minister to come clean and face up with the facts about what cuts and cancellations have been authorised today to come up with this $23.9m to fund a new programme for TPK".

"I will also be suggesting that we need simultaneous translation of the Government release" suggested Mrs Turia. (See other page). Translation of 'Investing in Maori Potential'

- Reallocation means no resources; robbing Pita to pay Mita.

- Rawa: "Assisting Maori to use, develop and retain their own assets" means no resources; so use your own savings instead.

- Matauranga: "Investment in generating innovation and creativity" means no resources, so you better start getting creative.

- Whakamana: Investment in strengthening leadership and decision-making recognising that Maori success relies on their capacity to lead, influence and make decisions: means no resources, so let's hope you've got an aunty or an uncle that can give you good advice.

- National Identity: which Dr Cullen states includes "in some respects the place of Maori in this land" - Maori were the only culture mentioned in the section on 'national identity' - but still no resources to ensure that this identity maintains its special place.

- Maori Potential: means everyone has potential - but only some will get resourced, thus setting us up against each other.

ENDS


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