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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand First – Release/Statement

Headline: Maori Miss Out On Jobs With ‘Brown Table’ Iwi-Owned Company

Ngāi Tahu and Tainui-owned company Go Bus is recruiting driver and trainee drivers from overseas, instead of training and hiring Maori looking for work, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“These two iwi received, decades ago, Treaty of Waitangi settlements of $170 million each. In their demands for settlement both iwi used the numbers and names of individual iwi members, so why are Maori the last ones considered when bus driving jobs are available.

“This is the classic ‘Brown table’ behaviour we warned against. It is sad that with some Maori corporates the colour might have changed but the behaviour remains the same,” Mr Peters said in a speech in Titahi Bay, Porirua, today.

“Ngai Tahu and Tainui have a moral responsibility to put their assets to work for their own people. That clearly is not happening here in the case of Go Bus as it is often not happening in other similar examples. Iwi members should be asking, why aren’t they working on our behalf and employing our own people first.

“Go Bus is considering employing 200 drivers from the Pacific and industry sources point to Filipino drivers being brought in from Dubai and employed as drivers in the South Island.

“Immigration New Zealand has been approached to assist Go Bus to bring overseas workers into the country.

“In October the company, New Zealand’s largest bus operator, is due to start a new contract in South Auckland. They should be out actively recruiting, and offering training to Maori.

“The government is mindlessly encouraging the building industry to bring in cheap overseas labour to it keep wages down, but why are Maori businesses doing that?

“This resembles so much of the Maori fishing quota. The fish is being caught and processed by overseas owned boats and crews with minimal work and wealth for Maori.

“Whatever happened to young Maori being a special taonga?”

Go Bus was bought by iwi investment companies Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corp and Tainui Group Holdings for $170 million in August 2014.