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Honeymoon over for Maori MPs

Comments from the Alliance's broadcasting spokesman today shows the honeymoon is over. "The Alliance bride has woken up and realised that she's living with a domineering bully of a husband," says National's broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"In an extraordinary outburst on RNZ's Kim Hill show this morning, Willie Jackson has implied that Labour Ministers have been dishonest, lied, abandoned good faith bargaining, failed to genuinely consult their Alliance partners, tried bullying tactics to get agreement on key policies and have ignored not only their coalition partners but also their obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

"Mr Jackson also implied that Labour were trying to "buy" off Maori over telecommunications.

"Willie Jackson has found out that he is virtually an opposition member within the government! It's no wonder he refuses to hold his tongue any longer.

"He confirms National's long-held suspicions that the government's broadcasting and telecommunications strategies are a mess. Maori are rightly frustrated that important Maori broadcasting issues have been sidelined or lumped into the wider broadcasting review," says Ms Rich.

The Prime Minister needs to step in again and restore public confidence in the government's handling of broadcasting issues, she says.

"What surprises me the most is that it has taken this long for Maori dissatisfaction at the lack of progress in broadcasting to come to the surface. The quiescent Maori caucus is getting ready to erupt.

"Willie Jackson says this is about preserving 'the Maori' language but it's more than that. The bottom line is money and the opportunity the spectrum can generate for Maori, so let's not dress these issues up with philanthropic ideals while Pakeha Ministers wring their hands about closing the gaps," says Ms Rich.


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