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Pre-Election Promises: Maori

Staff Reporter  Peter Fowler 29/11/99 14:01:00

With the election over, NewsRoom now looks at the main policies offered by Labour and the Alliance, which give us a hint of what to is come. With the nature of coalition negotiations however, what they promised before the election may yet be watered down or scrapped altogether. However with Labour being the dominant coalition partner, it can be expected its policies are more likely to be implemented than the Alliance’s.


Labour said it was committed to advancing a Treaty settlement process “with integrity”, which was properly resourced, to reach fair and just settlements on a case by case basis.

It said Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, would be refocused so that it could support Maori development. Under Labour, the Ministry for Maori Economic and Social Development will have two integrated arms: an economic development directorate and a social development directorate.

Labour also committed itself to more direct resourcing of Maori development initiatives.

It said it would increase the numbers of teachers in Maori language and Maori teachers in all core curriculum subjects.

Labour said it would scrap market rents for state house tenants, replacing them with income related rentals. It would also directly assist Maori families by encouraging the development of papakainga housing, and supporting self-build and sweat equity schemes to allow whanau to build and own their own homes.

The Alliance promised a Maori education authority and a commitment to fund English language Maori TV and radio.

The Alliance said it would establish a co-ordinated Maori broadcasting system which recognises the need to encourage Maori programming in English, as well as Maori programming in te reo Maori.

It said it would introduce legislation to change the mandate of Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development so that it can audit the money ear-marked for Maori services and where failure to deliver is apparent, contract directly to ensure a quality service is delivered.

The Alliance said it will move to replace The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commissioners, introduce democratic elections for new ones, and hold a full Commission of Inquiry into the performance and remuneration of these present Commissioners.

And it believed the most effective way of supporting and protecting Maori education initiatives, from kohanga reo (early education) through to whare wananga (tertiary), was to introduce a national Maori Education Authority.

NewsRoom 1999