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Maori Party Co-leader Corrects the Public Record

Maori Party Co-leader Corrects the Public Record

Release: Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party

21 June 2006

In the flurry of media storm over the Maori Party discussions about the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill, Dr Pita Sharples has moved to correct some of the more glaring inaccuracies.

“Contrary to media reports, I have not met with union leaders this week” stated Dr Sharples. “The position I came to, reflected feedback from hui with my electorate constituency in Tamaki Makaurau”.

“The position that the Maori Party caucus has always advocated - and I remain committed to - is that we wanted the Bill to go through to Select Committee in order to provide an opportunity for people to have a say on the concept of probationary employment. We wanted to know how the Bill addresses the drastic situation for Maori of joblessness and inter-generational unemployment” stated Dr Sharples.

“We also wanted to know whether the Bill responds to the significant disparity between Maori and non-Maori in weekly income; and whether it offers any solutions in responding to racism in all institutions. To date we have not received any responses to these queries".

“It is often frustrating that the level of the current political analysis is so simplistic - FOR or AGAINST - being the only position offered up”.

“The Maori Party has always said we want to explore the fullest possible interpretations of every issue - to ensure every good idea is analysed, every complication teased out”.

“Our position, then, in voting the Bill to go to Select Committee was neither an emphatic Yes or No - it was instead, a vote for dialogue, discussion and debate, a vote for the public to have a say”.

“My electorate of Tamaki Makaurau has given me a clear indication of the way in which they want me to vote - and that is what I have presented to our caucus. But at the end of the day, our voting as a caucus, will not be finalised until the Select Committee process reports back to the House in September” concluded Dr Sharples.


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