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'Maori Affairs Minister Has To Go' says Sharples

‘Maori Affairs Minister Has To Go’ says Dr Pita Sharples

Wednesday 24 May 2006

Co-leader of the Maori Party;

Deputy Chair-person of the Maori Affairs Select Committee


“The performance of Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is no longer tolerable” said Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader Maori Party.

“At the Maori Affairs Select Committee this morning, his refusal to answer simple questions; his evasive responses, and his complete lack of concern at the abject failure of the Maori Affairs portfolio gave me much room for concern”.

“The astonishing revelation that the reason why Maori Affairs failed to win any resources in Budget 2006 was because the Minister didn’t even bother to put forward a Budget Bid left me gob-smacked” said Dr Sharples.

“Mr Horomia said that he was advised by his Chief Executive that Te Puni Kokiri had enough money”.

“If the Minister - and the Ministry - of Maori Affairs, have nothing at all that they think they can offer Maoridom, then why on earth do they exist?” asked Dr Sharples.

“I can not believe that the Minister and the Department - and indeed the Government - could be so complacent as to ignore the persistent call by the people to support their ongoing advancement” stated Dr Sharples.

“This call to address the disparities - and to assist in progressing their journey towards independence - has been supported by the Special Rapporteur, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen, in his recent New Zealand report.

“It was bad enough that the Minister and the Maori Members of the Government voted against the Maori Party’s supplementary order paper to recognise the special character of kura kaupapa Maori, to support the independence of kohanga reo, and to return land to hapu and iwi that was provided for the purpose of education and no longer required”.

“I can not understand their lack of concern for these kaupapa” stated Dr Sharples. “I am sure they all have children or mokopuna attending kohanga or kura, and yet in failing to vote WITH the amendments, they actively cast a vote AGAINST and these important changes were lost by only one vote”.

“The time has come for the Maori Members in Labour to make a decision” stated Dr Sharples. “Are they there for Maori or are they there for their own interests?”.


ENDS

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