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Staff cuts bad for environment, bad for people

Staff cuts bad for environment, bad for people, bad for Te Tiriti

Public service cuts to the newly formed MAF translates into the Crown further abdicating its responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi to guarantee protection of our taonga according to Ikaroa Rawhiti Maori Party candidate, Na Raihania.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) announced last week that it would be cutting an estimated 241 positions over the 2012-13 financial year.

"Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou are two signatories of WAI 262. Within the recently released Waitangi Tribunal report there is a clear message about the ownership and protection of our native flora and fauna," said Mr Raihania.

"If a government cannot provide secure borders then that would surely undermine any possibility of their ownership and must seriously impinge on its written promise to protect 'nga taonga katoa.'

“There is a very serious question as to how a Government can claim to protect taonga Maori and yet not invest in the resources to give effect to that responsibility – we have to be real about the risks.

“This is not just backroom jobs we are talking about. Cuts to the research and development capacity of MAF and other agencies will threaten our ability to be protected from the whims of international multi-corporates and those that would seek to 'clone and own' our special taonga, our DNA.

“This is a matter of government policy about our border security and the protection of the environmental future of our country. The Government is yet to make its response known to the tribunal's report on WAI 262, however they must not strip such crucial agencies bare before considering the impact on our country’s future."

"As a former President of the PSA I say it is simply not good enough to remove the one asset that above all else ensures that our country is protected for the next 500 years. That asset is people, it is people, it is people - he aha te mea nui?"

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