“ACT would add a new principle of “Non-discrimination” to section 12 of the Public Service Act 2020, setting out the “Principles of the Public Service.” This would require the public service to act in a non-discriminatory way regardless of the race, ethnicity or national origins of a member of the community.

“The emphasis for the public service should be fitting services to every New Zealander. Our population is more diverse than just Māori and non-Māori, but you wouldn’t know it from this Government’s priorities.

“There are constant examples of public services dividing people. Race is being used to prioritise surgical waitlists, prezzy cards are given exclusively to pregnant Māori women, Significant Natural Areas treat Māori land differently, groups like RMA Regional Planning Committees and Three Waters Regional Representative Groups having special Māori representation.

“It is not up to the public service to lazily assume all Māori mothers need to be bribed to look after their pēpi, nor should it assume all non-Māori are less in need. Some are, some aren’t.

“We cannot afford to continue dividing ourselves along these superficial lines. We must celebrate the common humanity that unites all people and stop seeking ways to divide us with group rights and collective identity.

“Either New Zealand is to be a liberal democracy where all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, or a kind of ethno-state where some are born more equal than others.

“ACT will restore liberal democracy and universal human rights. All New Zealanders are alike in dignity and this should be reflected by our public service.”

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