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We Never Signed Up To Swain’s Minerals Policy

We Never Signed Up To Swain’s Minerals Policy Stance - Jackson

Alliance MP Willie Jackson has denied claims that the minerals policy as announced by Paul Swain is agreed government policy.

“While Cabinet agreed in April that petroleum would not be available for use in the settlement of treaty claims, there is nothing to prevent the Alliance from lobbying to have that policy revisited”.

“Neither Sandra Lee or myself agreed that the policy that Paul Swain has outlined is set in concrete, and could not be reconsidered in the light of Waitangi Tribunal recommendations” said Jackson. “Yes, we have canvassed this issue at one government meeting. But we have not and we will not endorse Swain’s position”.

Willie Jackson says that the consultation process about the minerals issue and the Nga Ruahine claim has been totally inadequate. “This is not about coalition tensions or one renegade MP. The fact is that Labour members of the Maori Caucus are unclear as to how or when they were consulted”.

“Government Ministers should not have made public statements undermining the Waitangi Tribunal process. Nga Ruahine are entitled to natural justice without interference from politicians” says Jackson.

Willie Jackson wonders whether Ministers would see fit to comment on criminal cases before the courts with such impunity. “If this Government has a genuine commitment to closing the gaps and settling grievances, we must respect the Waitangi Tribunal” he says.

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