Brash: Budget revives old race-based gap-closing

It is appalling to see that the Labour Coalition Government is turning the clock back 20 years to the absurd “Closing the Gaps” policy of the Clark Government, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.

“Closing the gaps” appears in the “Lifting Maori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities” section which headlines an $80 million injection for the Whanau Ora programme, at a cost of $44 for every New Zealand household.

“To target assistance based on the race of the recipient is something we should have left behind years ago,” Dr Brash said. 

“Yes, there are many poor Maori and Pacific Islanders.  There are many poor Europeans and Asians.  All those who need assistance should get it, irrespective of their race, ” he said. 

“Why does the Government insist that all those with a trace of Maori or Pasifika blood are by definition in need of special assistance?  It is patronising nonsense,” Dr Brash said. 

“Assist people in need, irrespective of when they or their ancestors arrived in New Zealand,” he said.