13 Jul 2011

Sharples defends special measures for Māori comments

8:56 pm on 13 July 2011

Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is defending comments made during a televised debate that Māori have special measures so those lagging behind can catch up.

Dr Shaples was challenged in Parliament on Wednesday over the comments made during a debate with ACT Party leader Don Brash earlier this week.

ACT's parliamentary leader John Boscawen asked Dr Sharples why Māori are still over-represented in welfare and crime statistics when they have separate representation on statutory boards, electorates and other local authorities.

He asked Dr Sharples if it was time to realise that the special measures he supports have failed his Māori constituents.

Dr Sharples replied that these measures are very small compared to the battle to get Māori to the achievement level of everybody else.

The minister said the question posed by Mr Boscawen is one he should be asking himself.