“Willie Jackson’s inflammatory comments about racism will only perpetuate a victimhood mentality,” says ACT’s Social Development and Children Spokesperson Karen Chhour.

This morning, the Māori Development Minister said there is institutional racism ‘in every area of New Zealand society’ that won't end until there is more funding for ‘by Māori, for Māori’ solutions.

“Jackson doesn’t even believe in the benefits of ‘by Māori, for Māori’ solutions. His waatea (organisation) sponsored a charter school, but his own party completely opposed the concept and shut it down.

“Constantly blaming racism for the problems faced by Māori is wrong. We can’t move forward as a nation if that is our only response.

“Rather than using such divisive language, our government should be uniting New Zealanders behind good ideas that lift everyone up.

“Jackson’s comments also promote a narrative that all Māori are the same and that we don’t have our own individual aspirations.

“Labour likes to believe it is the saviour of Māori, but it clearly has no idea how to fix our country’s deeply-ingrained problems.

“This Government has had nearly four years, but it has done nothing but spout empty rhetoric and throw money aimlessly at social and economic problems.

“Our government should be more ambitious for Māori.”

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