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Cullen confirms Government's agenda on Maori

Cullen confirms Government's agenda on Maori

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has finally confirmed the Labour Government's secret agenda for Maori, says National Party Leader Bill English.

"Michael Cullen has finally revealed the Government's plan to separate out Maori interests from the rest of New Zealand.

"Helen Clark has never been brave enough to tell the public just what her Government's plan is.

"In an irrational rant to the Labour Party Conference in Gisborne, Dr Cullen has admitted this Government sees no end to the grievance process," says Mr English.

"He describes the Treaty as 'a living document where new applications or implications may arise as circumstances change.'

"Does that give New Zealanders any degree of certainty?

"It's clear from Dr Cullen's speech Labour has no idea how to put limits on claims and they're out of touch with public opinion.

"He's giving official backing to policies that would allow women to be banned from a building site and paving the way for sweeping new claims about ancestral landscapes," Mr English says.

"About those policies Dr Cullen claims 'these can still be regarded very broadly as some form of property rights which, being guaranteed to Maori by the Treaty, do not apply automatically by virtue of the Treaty to other New Zealanders.'

"Not only that, but he's gifting responsibility for the tough decisions to who-ever Margaret Wilson chooses to appoint to Labour's Supreme Court," Mr English says.

"How typical it is for Dr Cullen to label as racists all those Kiwis who, like the National Party, believe there should be just one standard of citizenship.

"The Labour Government clearly doesn't accept that and that's why the National Party will continue to debate the Treaty publicly.

"It's a debate about all New Zealanders and their right to have an equal voice," Mr English says.

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