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Privy Council discussion welcomed if genuine

Hon Georgina te Heuheu
National Maori Affairs Spokesperson

Tuesday 19 December 2000

Privy Council discussion welcomed if genuine

National's Maori Affairs spokesperson Hon Georgina te Heuheu today welcomed the process for looking at New Zealand's appeal court structure providing it is genuine and allows New Zealanders' genuine concerns to be debated, particularly those of Maori.

Attorney General Margaret Wilson has outlined a process for wide discussion on the future of the Privy Council and New Zealand's appeal court structure.

"Given the Prime Minister's statements earlier in the year and her thinking on the future of New Zealand's constitutional arrangements, the question must be asked - is the process genuine or a sham?

"Consultation means listening and being prepared to be influenced by the results of that consultation.

"As I said earlier in the year, Maori are prepared to consider a change to our appeal structure providing they are genuinely engaged by Government. They'll be seeking confirmation of that.

"New Zealanders and particularly Maori will not be fooled - they'll be asking whether this process is a genuine attempt to engage their thinking or whether the decisions have already been made by Cabinet," Mrs te Heuheu said.

Ends

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