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Patching New Members Over Young Nick's Head?

Old Gang Patching New Members Over Young Nick's Head?

Monday 5 Aug 2002

Finance Minister Michael Cullen must not reward intimidation by giving Young Nick's Head to Maori political law breakers, says ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks.

"The rule of law is damaged for us all both Maori and pakeha when illegal land occupation can frighten a government into trying to buy peace. Appeasement just attracts more thuggery.

"Maori signed the Treaty to get the rule of law and to stop losing land to people who were growing stronger and more willing to occupy it by force or trickery. The rule of law means nothing when people who break it are rewarded.

"The hikoi is legitimate as a protest. It is legitimate to try to influence how the Minister uses lawful powers to interfere in land sales. It is reasonable to worry about loss of control of NZ to foreigners.

"But a far closer risk to us all is the loss of assurance of peaceful and lawful enjoyment of life and property to those prepared to threaten and to break the law.

"Both Winston Peters in power last time, and this government, have colluded with political thugs. Tariana Turia applauded them at Moutua Gardens. Winston Peters filled his cabinet posts with the `tight 5' and was in power when the police were stopped from arresting trespassers.

"Now the Greens are joining that unholy gang.

"Minister Cullen should make a point of not giving in to intimidation over Young Nick's Head. The illegal occupiers should get no reward.

"But he should announce clear policy for future more genuinely significant land.

"And most important of all he should announce policy that means we no longer face a future of borrowing from, and selling to, foreigners. As long as we keep voting for politicians who promise to spend more than we earn New Zealanders will have to keep either borrowing from foreigners or selling assets to them to pay for our refusal to live within our means," Stephen Franks said.


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