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Race-Based Rolls Will Cause Social Division

Race-Based Rolls Will Cause Social Division

Thursday, October 4 2001 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley told Parliament last night that the establishment of separate electorate rolls based on race for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council was not supported by the vast majority of Bay of Plenty voters and could only result in destructive social division.

"I have consistently called for a referendum on this issue but the promoters of this legislation have arrogantly claimed that they know best" said Mr Shirley.

Ken Shirley accused the outgoing Chairman and Councillors of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council of lacking vision and courage. They have been captured by a misguided band of separatists and led by their noses he said.

"While greater Maori participation in local government is a laudable goal, separate constituencies divided on racial grounds is not the answer.

"The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill completed its Third Reading in Parliament last night and will be enacted following the royal assent. The legislation will take effect for the 2004 local body elections unless repealed by Parliament in the meantime. ACT New Zealand will certainly seek to change this legislation with a change of government," concluded Ken Shirley.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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