Article Title:Aspin made Treaty issues a "standing item"
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:1st July 2005 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:3023
Text:AIDS Foundation board claims that it has been discussing constitutional change to incorporate a 50% Maori quota for over a year are misleading, and perhaps even dishonest, says former chair Michael Stevens. "I was Chair until November 2004 and the topic of constitutional change was not broached at all in the last year of my time on the Board," he says. "The Board has often discussed issues pertaining to Maori and the Treaty and how the NZAF should view them and act. There is nothing new there. That discussion has gone on at different times and with different levels of intensity since I first joined the Board in 1998." Stevens says it was at Clive Aspin's instigation that the Treaty issue became a standing item on the Board agenda last year, “to which we all agreed. We even discussed them at the meetings that Dr Aspin couldn't find time to attend. But the Board has often discussed this topic, along with its role to the gay community and to those people living with HIV whatever their ethnicity or sexuality.” However, none of these discussions involved constitutional change, says Stevens, and to suggest that they had is absurd and misleading. “To state that any organisation that wishes to constructively and positively enagage with Maori and the Treaty must have a 50% quota of Maori on its Board is simply ridiculous,” he says. “It deeply pains me to have to publically criticise an organisation that I have given much time and energy to, one whose staff I hold in such high esteem and one with such an important role to play, but I think the record needs to be set straight.” As of 3.30pm today Aspin could not be contacted for comment.    
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