28 Jun 2013

Govt departments ignorant of Maori significance - Sharples

6:36 am on 28 June 2013

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the heads of Government departments are not aware that Maori are culturally significant and that lack of understanding causes stand-up rows.

Appearing at a Maori Affairs Select Committee, Dr Sharples was asked if the agencies forget they have a responsibility to get advice from Te Puni Kokiri - the Ministry of Maori Development.

He said he does not think the departments are aware that Maori are culturally different, and that decisions being made affect Maori in a different way to other New Zealanders.

However, he said the heads of those agencies are learning through the Maori Party being at the Cabinet table at committee meetings.