David Seymour
ACT Leader

The Government’s paternalistic approach towards Maori through procurement is a step too far and needs explaining.

The Government, in another departure from the idea that all New Zealanders are equal before the law, has set a quota of five percent of Government procurement being spent on Maori businesses.

This policy raises far more questions than it answers.

Will the Government also give preference to female-owned businesses?

If a Maori-owned business, a Samoan-owned business, and a Chinese-owned business all submit identical bids for a government contract, how will the Government decide which one to accept?

Will it decide on the best service which will provide the best services for New Zealander taxpayers who are footing the bill, or be forced into a decision by a quota?

Will the Government compromise on quality or cost when it procures goods and services from Maori businesses, and if the same standards are expected of Maori businesses what is the point of the policy?

Why does Ngai Tahu, an entity worth $1.5 billion, need help from the Government?

Why isn’t the Government’s goal simply to procure quality goods and services at reasonable prices when it buys on behalf of taxpayers, regardless of who is selling them?

These conversations may not be comfortable for some people, but ACT exists to have honest conversations about difficult issues like this and to unite New Zealanders behind good ideas that benefit all New Zealanders.”

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Government’s Paternalism over Maori Businesses
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