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Maori Party misses the point: Mahuta

6 November 2008

Maori Party misses the point: Mahuta

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has rejected Maori Party criticism the government is out of touch with the plight of struggling whaanau.

“Labour has done more for whaanau than any other government and we will continue to do so should we gain the privilege of being re-elected for another term,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Maori unemployment has more than halved since Labour has been office. The minimum wage has been increased by Labour every year over the same period. The Maori Party voted against raising the youth minimum wage.

“Labour’s Youth policy released yesterday reaffirms our commitment to young people.

“We are seeing more young Maaori staying at school to get qualifications and we’re committed to continuing to improve Maaori school achievements through initiatives like Ka Hikitia and Schools Plus.”

Nanaia Mahuta said Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia misses the point that the best assistance to eliminating welfare dependency is through employment.

“Employment is absolutely critical for whaanau to move forward and that’s why the government is committed to investing in skills training, protecting the rights of workers and introducing a training allowance for workers,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“The government, through its Working for Families package, has lifted 130,000 children out of poverty, and while there is more work to do we certainly don't want to lose the gains already made.

“A vote for the Maori party will guarantee such gains will be lost if they deliver a National-led government.

”Don't be fooled by Maori party rhetoric. People need certainty and real jobs with real wages. That's what a Labour-led government will deliver,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

ENDS

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