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Open Debate On Maori Privilege


Open Debate On Maori Privilege

Monday 9 Dec 2002
Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

The Whangarei District Council's move to establish `special' relationships with local Maori sets a disturbing precedent, ACT New Zealand Whangarei-based MP Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Most New Zealanders believe in the principle of one law for all, yet here our local council is taking steps to establish privileges for Maori that will not be available to other ratepayers, Dr Newman said.

"Their plan to establish a Maori advisory group, appoint a full-time Maori liaison officer and form a Maori policy within council smacks of separatism. It goes far beyond the council's obligations to consult with Maori over sites of significance in the District Plan.

"Treating ratepayers differently on the basis of race is a significant development by the council. I challenge the council to ask ratepayers how such special privileges should be established with selected ratepayer groups - rather than debating the issues and making such decisions behind closed doors. I suspect there will be little public support for special privileges for any ratepayer group," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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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