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Brash dredging up old rubbish on Maori and science

Thursday, 05 February 2004 Media Statement

Brash dredging up old rubbish on Maori and science

Don Brash's repetition of a bogus, old story about footrot research funding being denied because it did not have clear benefits for Maori shows how desperately ill-informed he is on Maori issues, says Research, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodsgon.

”Last night on Face to Face with Kim Hill, Don Brash regurgitated a false story from late 2002 alleging that researcher Jon Hickford had failed with a funding bid for footrot research because 'the benefits to Maori were not sufficiently made clear'.

"The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has repeatedly explained that Dr Hickford's research proposal was not assessed at all for its benefits to Maori. It was rejected simply because it failed to measure up against assessment criteria focused on its potential benefits to New Zealand and critical success factors.

"Research proposals are only assessed for their benefits for Maori if the researchers make a case that such benefits exist. This assessment happens once projects have made a shortlist for funding, which Dr Hickford's proposal failed to do.

"It is simply pathetic to see Don Brash resorting to fake examples of 'discrimination' in an effort to prop up his attack on Maori and the Treaty. Even a casual attempt to check the facts would have told him his footrot story is utter rot."


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