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Race Relations Conciliator Warns Of Anger

Race Relations Conciliator Warns Of Anger And Division From Health Restructuring

The Race Relations Conciliator has delivered a sobering and concerning warning that the Government’s health reform legislation could result in resentment, anger and division among New Zealanders, National’s Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

“National has been worried about the impact of including the Treaty of Waitangi in health legislation. But so far the Prime Minister and her colleagues have dismissed our concerns as “rhetoric”.

“A lot of New Zealanders are also concerned. And now the Race Relations Conciliator has appeared before the Health Select Committee today with views that mirror our fears.

“The Conciliator wants the Treaty of Waitangi clause removed. He has told MPs that it is ‘inappropriate to include a provision in this form in social policy legislation which could be seen as privileging one race over another.

“The submission states that ‘to attempt to suggest that one race should have preference over another in determining access to health care is to invite resentment and anger from the group who is denied the service’(pg9).

“He fears it could be ‘unduly divisive and would not promote positive race relations in New Zealand’. The Conciliator agrees as National does that it “is appropriate to adopt measures which will address Maori poor health…but this should not be at the expense of other New Zealanders”.(pg 12)

“The Government’s also been cautioned that appointments to the District Health Boards should be made on skills and knowledge not because they are Maori.

“So far the Health Minister has refused to listened to fears about her health restructuring, but the concerns are becoming deeper and more widespread.

“It’s making people worried, and is unsettling health professionals at a time when they should just be focused on delivering and improving health services.”


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