Minister Says Investing in Maoridom Essential

  • Parekura Horomia
Maori Affairs

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said the Labour Alliance government is committed to developing the significant potential of Maori.

Mr Horomia told the Maori Affairs Select Committee today that Maori have assets that were valued at $5.5 billion in 1999, they have a mainly young and growing population and the uniqueness of language, tikanga and culture.

“I am proud to say that this Labour-Alliance government is prepared to focus on the positive development of these Maori assets. Talk can be cheap but in our two years in government, this commitment to Maori social, cultural and economic development has become action as well.”

Mr Horomia said the Prime Ministerial regional visits and the Hui Taumata Matauranga are examples of our commitment to meet with Maori ‘kanohi ki te kanohi’ and to acknowledge the value of Maori grassroots opinion.

“My biggest achievement has been the connecting up of Maori with the Government. Maori have had direct access to Cabinet Ministers, like no previous government. The Hui Taumata Matauranga is another example of this direct access. The Capacity Building and Maori Business Facilitation Services are examples of empowering Maori communities.”

“Other achievements include the dropping unemployment rate (from 19 to 12 percent), the settlement of the first of the Wananga Capital Funding claims, the appointment of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries commissioners and the imminent release of their public discussion document,” said Mr Horomia.

“It is important for the Crown and Maori to develop shared goals and objectives. However I am very keen for Maori to not simply wait for the Crown to make progress. They can and should back ourselves and their own resources.”