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NZAF 'turning back on Maori,' says Aspin

Fri 8 Dec 2006 In: New Zealand Daily News

An ex-chair of the NZ AIDS Foundation, Clive Aspin, claims the Foundation is about to turn its back on Maori. At the recent AGM of the Foundation's trust board a majority of the membership present voted to recommend removal of references to the Treaty of Waitangi from the Foundation's constitution. Aspin was briefly the first Maori chair of the NZAF, but resigned in August last year after accusing the NZAF of being racist and amid acccusations he misrepresented statistics when he claimed that Maori are at higher risk than the rest of the population of contracting HIV. He believes "the main AIDS organisation in this country is saying to Maori 'you'll have to go somewhere else to get your services.'" Aspin's interpretation is refuted by current NZAF chair, Hoani Jeremy Lambert, who says the removal of the Treaty clause was supported by many Maori who believed the Treaty clauses were actually holding back the organisation from developing effective programmes for Maori. The AGM vote to remove references to the treaty also included a requirement for the NZAF to be committed to biculturalism. The vote is not binding on the Board but Lambert is on record as saying the Board has a duty to reflect the wishes of the membership.     Ref:; Radio NZ (j)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 8th December 2006 - 12:00pm

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