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One Law for All - Richard Prebble Speech

Wednesday 3 Jul 2002

ACT's Waitangi Treaty Policy Launch, Speech by Richard Prebble, One Tree Hill, 11am, Wednesday, July 3, 2002

ACT has come to One Tree Hill today to release our Waitangi Treaty Policy and ACT's call for one law for all.

One Tree Hill has become a symbol of how political correctness is ruining our nation. Political Correctness has gone too far when even John Banks, the Mayor of Auckland, feels he cannot plant a pohutukawa tree on One Tree Hill.

99% of Aucklanders, Maori and Non-Maori, want a tree on One Tree Hill. I, like the majority, in the poll said I wanted that tree to be a pohutukawa tree. So, on behalf of the people of Auckland, I have come here on this day to plant a pohutukawa tree. I have called it - the One Law for All Tree.

This tree is symbolic of ACT's campaign for One Law for All. On no other issue has ACT had more influence in Parliament. When ACT arrived in Parliament six years ago - ACT's co-founder, Hon Derek Quigley in his first speech to parliament said that Parliament was creating two nations, a recipe for social strife. Derek Quigley presented his Treaty of Waitangi bill to set out a timetable to settle all Treaty Claims.

ACT was attacked. National's Doug Graham called us racists. National, Labour, Alliance, New Zealand First and the Greens all voted against ACT's Treaty bill.

In this election campaign I note that National has adopted ACT's plan to settle Treaty claims and even our date of 2008. New Zealand First has also copied ACT. Last night, in the Sky debate, I even heard Jim Anderton say there needs to be a timetable. ACT leads, the others follow.

It is an idea whose time has come. ACT promises fair, full and final settlement of all Treaty claims. ACT says December 2003 is the final date for filing any claim. If you do not know about a claim after 163 years, it cannot be a real grievance.

The Tribunal will be given the resources and the power to hear and determine all claims -including the power to throw out trivial claims like the claim in front of the Tribunal that the Treaty says Maori do not have to register or pay dog licenses. That claim is still there.

The Tribunal cannot rewrite history. The reason that John Banks was asked not to plant a tree last week was that a new tribe has claimed this hill - saying that they were the owners before the Ngati Whatua. There is no end to that sort of claim.

I ask voters to compare what the parties are saying and their record. Labour has settled very few claims. Labour has introduced race based funding. If re-elected your GPs government funding will depend on the race of the patients not their need.

National continues to endorse Maori seats. The sooner National gets back to its principles of being a party for all New Zealanders, the better that party will do in the election!

The Green party are campaigning to honour the 1836 Treaty - have we not got enough problems with one Treaty without doubling them by having two - That is political correctness on steroids.

And I wish to publicly disassociate my party from Mr Peters inflammatory rhetoric. He spoils good points by reckless language. ACT as a party prefers to rely on rigorous analysis, proper research and reasoned policy solutions.

ACT has on Waitangi issues led the debate, we have not only talked the talk, we have walked the walk. ACT is the party of reason in parliament.

ACT's policy is once every claim is settled, that is it. No more claims. Every settlement is full and final. ACT will abolish the Waitangi Tribunal and with it the lucrative grievance industry. The lawyers have got wealthy and most Maori have not seen so much as a snapper.

ACT will lead a country that wants to move on. ACT will then go through the Statute book and repeal every racist law. ACT is campaigning for colour-blind government.

The only successful societies in the world are those that are based on the rule of law. On the liberal vision, of one law for all.

ACT is campaigning for what the Treaty really promised - British Citizenship for everyone.

Why is the concept of British citizenship prized in 1840 and today? - a British citizen is equal before the law, regardless of colour, race, gender, political beliefs, social status or religion.

It is a core constitution principle that dates back to the Magna Carta and ACT has at times stood alone defending that principle. ACT opposes race-based policies from Closing the Gaps, social spending to race quotas at universities. ACT opposes political representation based on race.

ACT supports the Royal Commission's recommendation that now we have MMP there is no case for separate Maori seats. There are now 19 Maori MPs - so Maori are over-represented in Parliament.

Act is a party that stands by its principles. ACT is not standing candidates in any Maori seats.

Donna Awatere Huata has moved from the Maori roll to the general roll and will stand for the seat of Napier.

I believe that ACT's stand will win our party votes from forward-thinking Maori who want to be valued, not as members of a privileged minority, but for their own worth as human beings.

I also know that ACT's education, health, welfare and economic policies will benefit Maori more than any other groups.

ACT believes in personal responsibility and our policies empower individuals and groups. ACT strongly supports Maori leaders who are today initiating to promote education, health and economic self-determination.

Donna Awatere Huata has come up today to this launch from an economic development conference in Masterton - where later today Donna will give a presentation on how ACT's education policies are best for Maori.

ACT cherishes and celebrates our nation's Maori culture. I just say to the Greens, we do not have to create a separate Maori nation to do so. So this tree, I am going to plant today, is a symbol of ACT's commitment to one law for all.

But ACT also cherishes all the other cultures that have gone in to make New Zealand what it is today. We as a Party also welcome the valuable contribution that new New Zealanders are making to our nation.

Let me predict - the Council will remove the tree!

Let me also promise - that I will return!

There is no future for New Zealand as a nation unless we have one law for all.

ACT pledges - There will be one tree on One Tree Hill, and there will be one law in New Zealand.

Ends


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