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Alliance On Labour Maori Policy

Sat Oct 16 1999

'We welcome the elements in Labour's Maori policy which reflect our own, launched in August of this year,' said Alliance deputy leader and leader of Mana Motuhake Sandra Lee.

In its launch today, Labour has given a clear indication that it is committed to the Alliance policy to 'refocus' the role of Te Puni Kokiri so that it can directly resource Maori initiatives in Maori communties.'

The difference between the Alliance Mana Motuhake policy and the Labour policy is that we want a system where the Crown empowers Maori as much as possible.

'We actually want less government intervention, less bureaucracy, and more opportunity for Maori to get on with job of solving the problems that face our people.

'Alliance policy calls for a change to the mandate of Te Puni Kokiri so that it can monitor each dollar in the Vote Maori budget on behalf of Maori, to ensure an effective service is being delivered.

Government agencies will continue to be able to bid for that Vote Maori funding, but if after due process they are judged not to be delivering an effective service, then other community organisations will also be able to bid. It appears Labour supports this policy.

'Once you get the groundwork done and the funding and development structures in place, Maori can do the rest,' said Sandra Lee.'

Effec tive partnership between the Crown and Maori must begin at the funding level. 'That's what makes Tau Henare's offer of a one-off payment of $15 million to support the Maori language, so inadequate. The reality is that almost half the Vote Maori budget this year went on advice to the Crown. That's over $20 million that didn't get anywhere near Maori!' Sandra Lee is promoting the Alliance Mana Motuhake Maori policy which involves changing the mandate of Te Puni Kokiri in meetings and speeches across the country.

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