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Govt. Keeps Putting The Knife Into Coasters

Why is the Labour-Alliance Government so determined to keep putting the knife into West Coasters? Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley asked today.

"In the House today both Helen Clark and her deputy Jim Anderton refused to have the good grace to visit the West Coast to explain the cash rescue they have put on the table.

"We all know that Helen Clark is scared to front up to Coasters - but her Government just keeps on offending them. From today's answer it is apparent too that Jim Anderton is unwilling to go down there until West Coast people have decided on the Government's offer.

"It was bad enough to expect West Coasters to be bought off by cash in exchange for jobs. To expect them to buy the deal without having the chance to put their case to the Prime Minister and Deputy, on their own turf, is downright insulting.

"Helen Clark's contempt of the Coast borders on the pathological. Yesterday she told listeners to an Auckland-based radio show that there was no point in visiting the Coast," Mrs Shipley said.

Ms Clark said:

"What is the point of going down to be subjected to the type of vile abuse and vitriol that Michael Cullen was subjected to last year? These people are not democratic. ... "I well recall being at a meeting once where someone advocated that people occupying trees who felt very strongly against trees being milled, that they should be shot like possums in the headlights. That's what you're dealing with down there."

"This Government's attitude the Coast gets more peculiar by the day.

"They're going on about what a fantastic package they have put together for Coasters. If they think it is so good why on earth didn't they want to debate it in Parliament today.

"It's extraordinary that Government MPs blocked an opportunity for Parliament to discuss the package today."

Ends

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