New Zealand: Labour Maori policy 'skimpy'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Oct 27 21:03:09 UTC 2008

Labour Maori policy 'skimpy' - Turia

NZPA | Monday October 27 2008 - 06:11pm

Labour's Maori affairs policy is bereft of new ideas, Maori Party
co-leader Tariana Turia says. Labour yesterday released its Maori
affairs policy, which promised more funding and support for Maori
community housing, a new conservation cadetship for Maori and the
continuation of several existing policies. They included retaining the
Maori Electoral Option, settling all historical claims by 2020,
continuing to fund Maori broadcasting, promoting Maori language and
continued support for Maori economic development. Mrs Turia today
described the policy as "skimpy" and designed to "fix up holes" rather
than look forward.

In many cases it appeared Labour had just added Maori on to the end of
its existing policies. She said Labour lacked innovative ideas to
address Maori drop-out rates from schools and its "discriminatory"
20-hours-free early childhood policy excluded almost three quarters of
kohanga reo. "On the critical issue of retaining the Maori seats, you
need to read Labour's words carefully. "Helen Clark says Labour
supports the Maori Option, which gives Maori the say over the seats.

"But in reality, until the seats are entrenched, a simple majority in
Parliament can abolish them and Maori have very little say." The Maori
Party looks set to win at least five of the seven Maori seats which
could hand it the balance of power after the election. It has said it
will talk with both major parties.

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