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Labour steals Maori money for Fox fighting fund

Tau Henare MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman (Education & TPK)

13 March 2008

Labour steals Maori money for Fox fighting fund

Labour's move to take $35 million from the Maori Trustee to build a Maori economic development agency is nothing more than a cynical, politically-motivated way to fund the pursuit of Maori votes, says National's Maori Affairs spokesman Tau Henare.

"Polls predict Labour is in deep trouble from its political opponents. Maori Party candidates like Derek Fox, who has been selected to stand in the Ikaroa Rawhiti Maori seat, will seriously undermine Labour's party vote amongst Maori, and they are desperate to buy it back."

The Maori Trustee and Maori Development Amendment Bill revamps the Maori Trustee and Maori Trust Office and uses beneficiary money to set up a multi-million dollar business fund.

"Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia confirmed in Parliament today that the Maori Trustee is independent of the Crown. So how can the Crown justify appropriating this money?

"This is theft. That money belongs to the beneficiaries.

"Labour is so desperate to buy the Maori vote they are scurrilously taking $35 million of Maori beneficiary money and giving it to a group of Labour appointees to use as a slush fund.

"This money has been held in trust for the children and grandchildren of Maori landowners. It is not Labour's to steal.

"This is nothing more than Labour's self-serving attempt to 'out-Fox' the Maori Party".


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