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Education Key to Closing Gap in Maori Earnings

Media Release

07 December 2007

Education Key to Closing Gap in Maori Earnings

New Zealand First Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone is concerned about recent reports suggesting disparities between Maori and non-Maori are increasing in spite of overall rising prosperity.

Mr Paraone says the importance of education for advancing the lives and earning capacity for Maori cannot be underestimated and believes that we should be doing all we can to ensure that they have access to the same educational opportunities as non-Maori.

“Educational attainment is a matter of encompassing all facets of Maori wellbeing. Unfortunately, various social indices still show Maori some way behind the rest of the population, and recent Maori education statistics have been cause for alarm.

“Despite several years of programmes such as 'closing the gaps' and reducing inequalities, Maori are still concentrated in lower paid occupations. This demands action, and moves by Auckland University and the consideration by Victoria University to restrict course entry numbers will only further the gap.

“New Zealand First has always maintained that education is the key to upward mobility for Maori. Good health, sound housing and adequate employment opportunities should not be colour barred. With Maori forming the bulk of the working age population within the next 50 years, it’s in everybody’s interests to ensure that Maori and non-Maori alike have access to high quality education.


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