MFAT: “The World Cup’s over. Sack the Maoris”

Press Release – Mana Party

“That’s the only way to see the government’s proposal to scrap the Maori Policy Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)” said MANA leader Hone Harawira.
MANA Leader Hone Harawira

“The World Cup’s over. Sack the Maoris”

Friday 16 March 2012

“The World Cup’s over. Sack the Maoris.”

“That’s the only way to see the government’s proposal to scrap the Maori Policy Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)” said MANA leader Hone Harawira.

“Government’s proposal to replace the unit with independent advisors spread across the Ministry is doomed to fail” said Harawira “because it is based on a business model that has no history of success in any other field of government activity.”

Harawira said that a review of the Maori Policy Unit undertaken in 2011 recognised the importance of the Maori dimension within MFAT.

“The Maori Policy Unit includes a number of dedicated professionals who bring a high quality Maori dimension to their work, ably supported by other colleagues in the unit” said Harawira. “Replacing that level of excellence with a Cultural Advisor in Protocol, a part-time Development Officer in HR, and a dial-a-kaumatua would be an absolute disaster for this country’s foreign image.”

“Pigeonholing quality Maori staff into HR and ceremonial activities is an insult to the staff and an affront to Maori sensibilities.”

“Those Maori staff left after the cuts will become isolated, disheartened and will probably leave” said Harawira “leaving MFAT to present an increasingly white face to the world, entirely inconsistent with our country’s past and even our present.”

“MANA opposes these moves. I call on the Minister to put a stop to plans to disestablish the Maori Policy Unit, and to engage with Maori staff in developing a pathway forward that meets budgetary requirements as well as repairs NZ’s increasingly tatty reputation in Foreign Affairs.”

“And I call … again … on the Maori Party to recognise that their ‘first class relationship’ with National only serves to demean Maori, and for them to resign from the coalition and stand alongside their people.”
ENDS

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