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Helen Clark Insults West Coasters - Again

Helen Clark must stop engaging in ugly name-calling and start acting like a Prime Minister if she wants West Coasters to take the Government's $120 million package seriously, National MP Tony Ryall said today.

"She has compounded her insult of West Coasters with an extraordinary refusal to apologise to them.

"How can West Coast mayors negotiate in good faith with her Government when the Prime Minister refuses to treat West Coasters with any dignity? Instead of treating them like decent New Zealanders, she just wants to abuse them.

"In response to a Parliamentary question Ms Clark said she would not apologise to Coasters for calling them 'feral,' 'a Kentucky-like lynch mob' and 'in-bred.'

"Ms Clark justified her abuse by saying West Coasters made nasty comments about Labour on placards.

"This is school playground stuff. She saying it's okay to be rude about West Coasters because some of them are rude about her.

"When her own West Coast MP, Damien O'Connor, tried get her out of the hole she had dug herself into, Ms Clark made matters worse by suggesting her insults applied to anyone on the Coast who had not voted for Labour or the Alliance.

"Come on, Helen. You wouldn't know it, because you're afraid to visit the Coast, but you're dealing with real people here.

"They deserve better from a Prime Minister."


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