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Ed Sheeran

Māori boost vital across government for prosperous Aotearoa

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A former Māori Minister says the Government’s blueprint needs to acknowledge the need to tackle Māori disadvantage.

In the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday outlining the plan for a modern and prosperous New Zealand, the only mention of Māori was a pledge to build closer partnerships in the transition to a post-settlement environment.

Sandra Lee, who was minister of conservation and associate Māori affairs in Helen Clark’s Labour Alliance Government, says the persistence of negative statistics about Māori shows that is not enough.

She says PM Jacinda Ardern should ensure all her ministers understand with every piece of policy they put through that Māori are starting from behind.

"Our people, from the time of colonisation, have been put in a place where we are disadvantaged such that we are always behind the eight ball and prime ministers have to make it very clear as they govern to their fellow ministers one size does not fit all when it comes to Māori, and every minister in her Government does something about it quickly," Ms Lee says.

The Government also needs to monitor whether the benefits of treaty settlements are reaching the people the claims are based on, rather than merely creating a new tribal corporate elite.


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