Opposition's Housing Report Flimsy - So What Has Dover Samuels DoneMaori Affairs
Labour list MP Dover Samuels did little at local government level, and continued to do little to genuinely address Maori housing concerns in the Far North, the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare, said tonight.
The Opposition today released its report on Maori rural housing.
Mr Henare backed Housing Minister Murray McCully's claim the report was a "lazy piece of work" and said it was rich of Mr Samuels to criticise the Government when the list MP had had two gos at meeting Maori needs at local government level - for the Far North District and Northland Regional councils.
"What I find even more amazing is that man is a member of the Matauri X Incorporation which to date continues to block the woman at the centre of the house fire in Matauri Bay from relocating a home - a home that was donated to her - on the land she once called home," he said.
"Incredible. Yet he has the audacity, even now, to question Government policy."
Mr Henare said a Government strategy aimed at addressing Maori rural housing needs would be released shortly in conjunction with Mr McCully.
"That strategy will take a pragmatic and sensible approach to address the housing problems in rural areas in the North and East Coast.
"Not the sort of empty rhetoric the Opposition has come up with... I mean they can say this and that, but they can't put a price on what it's going to cost.
"It's the sort of lazy policy work we're talking about and I challenge Labour to front with some figures costing out their policy."
Recently Mr Henare announced a new committee, the Maori multiple-owned land committee, that would look at problems facing Maori multiple-owned land.
"Part of the problem facing Maori rural housing is the inability of Maori to take loans out against multiple-owned land.
"This committee will make recommendations to me in two months that I expect to consider in tandem with Maori rural housing to address a need," he said.
"Unlike Mr Samuels we are working to address problems. Not standing on a soapbox trying to look like the leader and talk Labour speak when the losers are our people."