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Maori pay heavy price for failed policies

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

11 July 2006

Maori pay heavy price for failed policies

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Maori New Zealanders are among the casualties who are falling by the wayside in the latest New Zealand Living Standards report.

“This is proof positive that Labour’s race-based policies are failing. Labour’s programme of affirmative action has seen Maori losing ground, not gaining it.”

Mr Brownlee says according to the report the proportion of Maori living in severe hardship rose from 7% in 2000 to 17% in 2004.

“That is despite the $243 million spent on Closing the Gaps between 2000 and 2004. This is a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar taxpayer-funded scandal.

“Little wonder Labour never talks about ‘Closing the Gaps’ anymore.”

National says success for Maori will come in the same way as it does for other Kiwis:

“With a strong education system, a tax system that rewards hard work and enterprise, and a strong social safety net which encourages people to take responsibility for themselves and their families.”

Mr Brownlee says Labour’s Maori policy has been in disarray ever since Helen Clark totally misjudged the public mood in the wake of Don Brash’s Orewa speech on Maori Affairs.

“Labour changed its language, but the policy settings haven’t changed at all,” says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS

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