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Greens To Take Waitangi Concerns To PM

The Green Party will be taking up the Prime Minister's invitation to discuss the Treaty of Waitangi as soon as possible, Greens Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Commenting on the support at Waitangi yesterday from Ms Fitzsimons, Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos for calls to honour the Treaty, Helen Clark said her door was "always open" to the Green MPs.

"The Greens are still developing policy on the Treaty," said Ms Fitzsimons, "but the overriding thing we want to impart to the Prime Minister is the urgent need for a national debate on what the Treaty really means in the 21st century and how it can be truly implemented after 160 years of one-sided development.

"Many New Zealanders don't understand how different the Maori version of the Treaty - signed by both Maori and Crown - and the English-language version are."

A number of Greens, including Treaty spokesperson Nandor Tanczos, had been involved in forums and workshops at Waitangi for several days before the official commemorations.

Jeanette Fitzsimons and Maori Affairs spokesperson Sue Bradford were welcomed on to Te Tii marae on Tuesday.

"We were there to support Maori and pakeha who are calling for a full debate to be conducted in an informed, non-threatening, non-confrontational atmosphere," said Sue Bradford.

"We look forward to working towards that goal with the Prime Minister."


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