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Chadwick position on Lakes ownership explosive

Max Bradford National MP

13 February 2001

Chadwick position on Lakes ownership explosive

The admission by Labour MP Steve Chadwick that Rotorua's lakes should be owned by Maori is the clearest expression yet that the Labour-Alliance Government is prepared to divide New Zealand on racial grounds, National MP Max Bradford said today.

Mr Bradford was commenting on a press report in Rotorua's Daily Post by Mrs Chadwick, Labour MP for Rotorua, that Te Arawa iwi should be given ownership of Rotorua's lakes.

"The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Margaret Wilson, has steadfastly refused to release papers under the Official Information Act on the question of ownership of Rotorua Lakes. It is no wonder, because it would seem the Government is about to transfer ownership of the lakes from the Crown to Maori.

"Mrs Chadwick's admission is the clearest indication yet of the Government's real agenda. There is no way she would say this without a nod and a wink from the Minister, and probably the Prime Minister.

"This will be one of the most divisive issues in Rotorua, if not New Zealand. Rotorua's lakes are enjoyed by millions of New Zealand and overseas tourists every year. To remove them from public ownership and vest ownership in one group in the community brings a real risk of creating a very divisive issue for this country.

"The Government should come clean and confirm whether Mrs Chadwick is representing a Labour-Alliance Government view, or simply is expressing a deluded proposition to curry favour with some of her constituents," Mr Bradford said.


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