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Sowry attacks Maori families - Samuels

2000 web siteLabour Mäori Affairs spokesperson is angry at the direct attack on Mäori families made by Government today.

In response to a speech by the Minister of Social Services, Roger Sowry, who blamed Mäori families for the level of social problems they faced today.

"After telling off the audience of tireless Mäori social service workers, for the level of child abuse and neglect within the Mäori community, the Minister then went further to list the reasons why Mäori were such bad parents.

"I am incredulous that the Minister would lay the blame of these complex issues exclusively at the feet of Mäori families, without taking any other critical factors into account.

"The Minister completely ignored the role of Government in shrinking the core services of government, and its complete failure to attack head-on the disparity gaps that exist for Mäori.

"Every major government agency reviewed by Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Mäori Development) has shown those agencies to be ineffective when addressing the needs of Mäori, unresponsive when dealing with Mäori issues, and have a very low level of Mäori staff in the decision making roles.

"The Minister and the Government must start taking responsibility for its' low achievement level of its' own Government policies, that have failed to address Mäori issues and stop trying to pass the buck. This Governments' arrogance has been a nine year trend of dictating both our problems and our solutions and refusing to listen to the grass roots. It has to stop.

"Why is the Minister more concerned with laying blame at the feet of Mäori rather than finding solutions by listening to, and working alongside Mäori who have been tirelessly working to turn these statistics around.

"The National Party is so far removed from Mäori issues, that this latest statement shows it is willing to admit it publicly," Dover Samuels said today.

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