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Low Maori Incomes Are No Surprise - Paraone

Media Release

15 February 2008

Low Maori Incomes Are No Surprise - Paraone

New Zealand First Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone says the increasing disparity of income between Maori and non Maori is not surprising when you consider the level of failure of Maori at school.

“Although there are a number of Maori students succeeding at school, these numbers are insufficient to have an impact on the increasing disparities,” said Mr Paraone.

“Time and time again, Maori students leave school with no formal qualifications and they drift in and out of low-paid jobs with no prospect for the future. Or they become trapped in the vicious cycle of relying on social welfare to bail them out because low-paying jobs do not offer any incentive for them to work.

“New Zealand First have always emphasised the importance of education as a key to upward mobility. Education is a critical social and economic investment that will enable each and every New Zealander to achieve his or her greatest potential.

“Tit-for-tat squabbling among political parties over statistics will not solve the economic hardship that faces many Maori families. We need policies that tackle the issue of why Maori fail at school.

“There will be severe consequences for New Zealand as a whole if we persist in failing to train, skill and employ our own people or to put Kiwi families first,” said Mr Paraone.


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