Trustee puts kibosh on Labour’s vote-grabbing plan
Tau Henare MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman
(Education & TPK)
23 July 2008
Maori Trustee puts kibosh on Labour’s vote-grabbing plan
The Maori Trustee has put a spoke in the wheel of Labour’s grand plan to steal $35 million to set up a separate Maori economic development agency, says National’s Maori Affairs spokesman (Education and TPK), Tau Henare.
“At today’s Maori Affairs Select Committee, trustee John Paki revealed that he wasn’t complicit in Labour’s plan and, in fact, had serious concerns about it.
“It was always presumed that the Maori Trustee, along with Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) and the Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, were in agreement on the plan to set up a multimillion-dollar business fund which would be administered by the personal appointees of the Minister.
“But it appears not. John Paki told the select committee that much more public debate was needed before he would lend support to the Maori Trustee and the Maori Development Amendment Bill.
“He is concerned, as many others are, that the $35 million is being taken out of a fund that services the legitimate beneficiaries of the trust – the children and grandchildren of Maori landowners.
“I have long thought that this theft was less to do with benefitting Maori and much more to do with Maori vote-buying by Labour.
“With the refusal of John Paki to play ball, Labour has no choice but to go back to the drawing board.
“This time we hope we will see wider consultation and much more transparency.”