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English Repeats Treaty Challenge

Bill English MP
National Party Leader

25 February 2003

English repeats Treaty challenge

National Party Leader Bill English has been denied leave to table papers in Parliament which he says prove the Treaty of Waitangi's 'phantom Article IV' is being forced onto the public.

"I'm again challenging Helen Clark to stop the experiment in social engineering and direct civil servants not to include references to so-called Article Four in documents.

In Parliament Mr English attempted to table extracts from an official document published late last year called 'Achieving Health for All People' which sets out what the first three articles of the Treaty mean for health.

"Then it goes on to the fourth as if it had always been there," Mr English says.

"But it was never written down and it hasn't been part of the Treaty as we've known it for 163 years - there is no Article IV.

"I believe a guarantee of religious freedom for everyone has been twisted for political ends," says Mr English.

"The people have had no say and Parliament has had no say.

"Article Four could end up in the new Supreme Court Margaret Wilson is setting up. And what priorities is she giving to the Supreme Court?

"The first criterion for an appeal to the Supreme Court is that: 'the proposed appeal involves a significant matter relating to the Treaty of Waitangi or tikanga Maori'.

"Who has decided the Treaty is the primary consideration in our law and in public decision-making?

"The Labour government, with no mandate, and certainly no public support to do so," Mr English says.

Ends (Available at www.national.org.nz - Extracts from Achieving Health For All People)

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