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Governments Employment Policies Fail Maori

Governments Employment Policies Fail Maori

Thursday 15 Nov 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Employment

ACT Employment Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today released new figures which show that this Government's employment policies are failing Maori, with numbers of long term unemployed Maori having jumped 25 percent since the Labour/Alliance coalition took power.

"As at the end of October, 2001, Ministry of Social Development figures show that 20,595 Maori were unemployed for over two years, compared with 16,480 in November 1999 when the Government took office.

"ACT's philosophy is that assistance and training should be applied to the disadvantaged, whatever their ethnicity. But this Government has made a point of huffing and puffing about what it would do for Maori specifically - and yet has failed abysmally.

"And I predict this Government's policies will continue to make matters worse.

"This Government's funding moratorium on Private Training Establishments (PTEs) will affect Maori disproportionately. The Government claims to be concerned about low Maori participation in tertiary education. Yet, figures provided by the Government show that Maori students make up only 13 percent of students in public tertiary institutions - but more than 27 percent of those studying in private institutions.

"ACT believes that PTEs should be given the chance to continue offering the increasing diversity and choice they have introduced into the tertiary sector.

"And finally, we are committed to putting emphasis on engaging all the long term unemployed in 40 hour-a-week job seeking and training schemes. Unless there are Government-led changes which genuinely assist those who have difficulty finding and keeping a place in the workforce, then we as country will continue to see long-term unemployed numbers rise with all of the associated social problems that brings," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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