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What price popularity, Bill?

What price popularity, Bill?

Green MP Metiria Turei is accusing Bill English of using Maori in a cynical attempt to shore up his own flagging support.

In what he described as a ‘major speech’ in Auckland today, Mr English called for a return to the “good old days” of the 1840s when Maori apparently lived in a perfect harmony of partnership, economic equality and prosperity with their colonial brethren.

“In themselves, Mr English’s latest comments can be dismissed as typical of the vague, revisionist, ignorant comments that National Party leaders have been trotting out for decades,” said Metiria Turei, the Greens’ Maori Affairs spokesperson.

“What is more disturbing is the manipulative way in which yet another right-wing politician is prepared to distort the debate over Te Tiriti and the future of this country in order to retain short-term political popularity.

“Maori have had 150 years of Pakeha lecturing them on what’s wrong with them and what’s wrong with this country and frankly we don’t need the desperate leader of a dying political party repeating the lesson.

“Mr English asks ‘What does the National Party stand for?’ Judging by Bill’s speech the answer is: not a lot.”

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