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Shipley confused and confusing

5 February 2001 Media Statement

Shipley confused and confusing

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that Opposition leader Jenny Shipley is utterly confused about the nature of the possible visit by the Minister of Maori Affairs and other ministers to Waitangi tomorrow.

"The new development, as has been reported in newspapers today, is the initiative by Sir Graham Latimer and Sir John Turei to invite Maori leaders to Waitangi to discuss a 40 year development plan for Maori.

"It is entirely appropriate for Maori ministers, as leaders in Maoridom, to attend those discussions.

"Mrs Shipley, in her ignorance, seems determined to politicise this issue. She is confusing the hui organised by Sir Graham and Sir John with the annual official events at Waitangi which the Crown is not officially represented .

"Her misrepresentation is not surprising. This is, after all, the same opposition leader who claims that she will be attending the Waitangi Day celebration at Waitangi. She has also told organisers of the Wellington event that she will be arriving in Wellington at 11.30am. This means she will be departing Waitangi rather early, missing the main church service, and making her visit there little more than a tokenistic gesture.

"Mrs Shipley should explain why she is cutting and running from Waitangi," Helen Clark said.


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