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Maori Develop through Market, not Government

Maori Develop through Market, not Government

Press Release by Hon Sir Roger Douglas, ACT New Zealand
Tuesday, December 15 2009

ACT New Zealand Economic Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas today expressed concern that Maori organisations were focusing on the trivial factors of Maori development and ignoring what would make a real difference.

"A huge amount of money is set to be spent by three Maori groups seeking to make a claim to fourth generation spectrum through the Waitangi Tribunal, and undoubtedly a lot more will be spent on political lobbying," Sir Roger said.

"This is a real shame. There are more important issues they could be advocating. For example, 22 percent of Maori leave school with no formal qualification. This year, only sixty percent of Maori students will be certified as being able to read, write, and perform arithmetic at NCEA Level 1.

"Many of these students will leave school early and enter into a workforce where employers are forced by the Government – through interventions like the minimum wage - to discriminate against those with low skills. This often blocks young Maori from getting the on-the-job training that would increase their skills and their wages.

"Rather than wrenching the Treaty out of its original context in order to claim spectrum, Maori development would be much better placed if the focus was instead put on choice for Maori. That means choice for whänau and individuals in schooling, choice to genuinely develop (or sell) Maori land and choice in health services and superannuation.

"Through history, the market has been a much greater friend to Maori than the state ever has. Future Maori development lies in freedom and choice – the political dimension is gamed against minorities," Sir Roger said.

ENDS

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