May 22, 2015
Counting in a sleight of hand
New Zealand First is accusing the Government of sleight of hand over its Budget approach to Maori youth unemployment.
Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone says Maori youth unemployment has risen 40 per cent under National, and 46 percent of Maori leaving school without qualifications are unemployed.
He says its response is $1 million a year for the next two years for the Count Me In programme, which will help about 2000 Maori and Pasifika 16 to 18 year olds who have left school to re-engage with education or begin vocational training.
At the same time, it removed a $1 million programme supporting iwi engagement in education, and a further $1 million from the Engaging Priority Families programme.
Mr Paraone says there is a clear link between engaging iwi and whanau with education and future employment opportunities, yet this government has chosen to mask the greater issue by focusing on only 2000 students.
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