Hot on the heels of the MP who won't do his job comes the Minister who won't do theirs. Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia didn't bother seeking new funding for his department during pre-Budget negotiations. As a result, existing spending has been reallocated. The Maori party is livid, and rightly calling for Horomia's resignation, asking
If the Minister - and the Ministry - of Maori Affairs, have nothing at all that they think they can offer Maoridom, then why on earth do they exist?
And they've got a point. Parekura has the resources of the government at his disposal. And he's there to work out how to apply them to solve problems affecting Maori. If he can't think of a single way of doing this, then maybe its time for him to move on and make way for someone who can?
The irony is that it's not just the Maori Party calling for Parekura's resignation - it's National as well. That's right, the party which opposes "race-based" funding and which believes the only purpose of the Ministry of Maori Affairs is to wind itself up, and which more broadly is attacking government spending levels, is upset that a Minister didn't ask for more money. I thought that would be exactly the sort of "fiscal discipline" they'd be trying to encourage?