“Somehow, according to Chris Hipkins it is racist to even ask questions about government policy that divides public services by race. He should ask himself: Is raising questions about healthcare divided by race the problem, or is the policy?” Asks ACT Leader David Seymour.

“This is the question I asked that garnered the response from Hipkins:

“Is the Prime Minister aware that both Māori and non-Māori live in both cities and rural areas and that what New Zealanders object to deeply and strongly is the constant profiling of citizens by race by his Government?”

The Prime Minister’s answer: “I absolutely reject the statement in that question which is just plain racism.”

“For context, Hipkins’ response came after I pointed out that race is being used to prioritise surgical waitlists, prezzy cards are given exclusively to pregnant Māori women, a pharmacy service has been created that is only accessible to Māori and Pasifika, a separate Māori Health Authority has been created, and the publicly funded medical healthline opens with “Press 1 if you are Māori?”

“This issues deserve scrutiny. The emphasis in health 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.

“If Chris Hipkins has to resort to calling people racist to shut down the conversation it only shows how little substance there is to his Government’s policies in the first place.

“ACT will demand that the public service is colourblind, but highly focused on eliminating inequity. It should not 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. ACT is opposed to racial discrimination because it’s a lazy and divisive way of treating people.”

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