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The first hundred days for Maori

A Maori education authority and a commitment to fund English language Maori TV and radio are among the key points announced today in the Alliance Maori agenda.

Deputy leader of the Alliance and leader of Mana Motuhake, Sandra Lee and leader of the Alliance Jim Anderton announced the 30 step plan today at Parliament. They were joined by Alliance candidate for Hauraki, Willie Jackson and Te Tai Tonga candidate, Vern Winitana.

'This is the 30 step plan I want to take with me into a new Alliance Labour government on behalf of our people. And I have the support of my Alliance colleagues to do so. Today I ask for your support,' said Sandra Lee.

'Our nation and its people stand at the cross-roads , fifteen days out from the last election this century and but weeks from the new millennium.

'The single challenge for a new government will be to provide the political and constitutional framework that ensures New Zealand at last becomes a truly bi-cultural nation. That is the government I intend to be part of.'

The Alliance believes the most effective way of supporting and protecting our own education initiatives, from kohanga reo (early education) through to whare wananga (tertiary), is to introduce a national Maori Education Authority.'

Another high priority for the Alliance is to establish a co-ordinated Maori broadcasting system which recognises the need to encourage Maori programming in English, as well as Maori programming in te reo Maori.

'The Alliance is the only party that has a policy recognising the need to cater for over 80% of Maori who do not speak te reo Maori. If Maori development is to occur, those who don't speak the language have a right to be informed in an accessible way.

'The time has come for Maori to determine how money allocated for Maori services is spent. To that end we will introduce legislation to change the mandate of Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development so that it can audit the money ear-marked for Maori services and where failure to deliver is apparent, contract directly to ensure a quality service is delivered.

'We are committed to a Maori democratic model of representation for all Maori both at a national and local level. Matiu Rata's vision of a system of Maori Councils across the country is that model. It would represent iwi, hapu and Maori organisations, like urban authorites.

'The Alliance supports the creation of a Central Maori Council and an assembly of Maori to be held each year. These would be agenda setting bodies, and so move away from decades of a reactive mode in Maori policy, to a proactive one.

'Having failed to reach a model for the allocation of the fisheries settlement that benefits all Maori, the Alliance will move to replace The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commissioners, introduce democratic elections for new ones, and hold a full Commission of Inquiry into the performance and remuneration of these present Commissioners.

'Maori cannot afford another government that commissions more reports on the existing gaps between Maori and non-Maori. Our people know the problems. We also know the solutions.

'We do not need campaign launches on top of One Tree Hill, designed to alienate and further marginalise Maori people.

'What will be required is courage, commitment, grace and a government willing to make the structural changes that must be made to ensure that Maori can move into development mode and determine their own destiny,' said Sandra Lee.


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