Maori Affairs Minister Tau Henare has blocked the opportunity for the Treaty of Waitangi to be included in the Education
Act, Labour's education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said today.
Trevor Mallard said Labour wanted the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi incorporated into the Education Act and today
sought leave to include an amendment doing so as part of debate on Te Aho Matua bill during its second reading.
The Education (Te Aho Matua) Amendment Bill - formally recognises the character of kura kaupapa Maori but Trevor Mallard
said Labour is acutely conscious that more than 90 per cent of Maori children attended mainstream schools.
"Their needs should be considered in relationship to the Treaty of Waitangi and that was what Labour sought to achieve.
"Yet in a typical flip-flop manner, Tau Henare said he agreed with what we proposed, but then he blocked it from
"Tau Henare will have to go to his electorate and tell them that he was the MP who stopped the Treaty of Waitangi being
included in the Education Act. His flimsy excuse was that it was outside the immediate scope of Te Aho Matua. That may
be so, but what an opportunity for Maori children he has thrown away!
"I am extremely worried by the growing gaps in Maori educational achievement that were again highlighted by the Maori
Education Commission in its recent reports to Tau Henare.
"Today, he has signalled that he is not really interested in closing those gaps. It is the final nail in Mauri Pacific's
coffin," Trevor Mallard said.