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Maori Issues Not Addressed By Research Ministry

ACT Education and Maori Affairs Spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata today accused the Ministry of Education Research Science and Technology of being totally inadequate in dealing with Maori issues.

The Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Mr Maurice Williamson, today appeared before the Education and Science Select Committee to explain the Government's policy for Research, Science and Technology: "Blue-Print for Change".

"In spite of years of scathing reports from Maori, including the Ministry of Maori Development, the Ministry have completely failed to respond to criticism," Mrs Huata said.

"The Chief Executive Dr. Buwalda claims that over the next year, Maori issues are very important to the Ministry's work, and that they "pervade all activities of the Ministry", yet he was unable to point to a single credible example of this.

"I reject Dr Buwalda's example of adequate consultation being one Maori man who was the Ministry's consultant on Maori issues.

"No single Maori can represent the diversity of needs and views that exist in the Maori population. Mr Buwalda's admission that he has no senior Maori capable of responding to Maori issues, means that he has fallen back on a part-time inexpensive way of getting advice on Maori issues.

"When Government spends a total of $426 million on Research, Science and Technology, it is entitled to know that the Ministry has the ability to spend that money wisely, fairly and in a way that addresses the key issues

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"Nothing in "Blue-print for Change" and in the Ministry's responses to the Select Committee, will allay the fears of those Maori who have accused the Ministry of being ineffective in contributing to Maori development."

Mrs Huata said that as far as she was concerned, Dr Buwalda should improve his own ability to manage his Ministry so that everyone benefited, and not just non-Maori.


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