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National exposes Govt duplicity on treaty

Hon Bill English MP National Party Leader

24 July 2003

National exposes Govt duplicity on treaty

National Party Leader Bill English has used a speech this morning to expose what he describes as 'Government duplicity' in the story it's giving to ratepayers over the new Local Government Act.

"The Department of Internal Affairs is issuing a series of pamphlets to Councils up and down New Zealand, that give quite different versions of what is in the new laws for Maori.

"The version designed for distribution among Maori says 'the old Local Government Act didn't include anything about Maori or the Treaty of Waitangi. The new Act has a number of references to Maori, and a Treaty section explaining why there are Maori provisions in the Act.'

"But the version which is destined for the hands of non-Maori says something completely different.

'Local Authorities do not have Treaty of Waitangi obligations under the Local Government Act (those responsibilities lie with the Crown)'

"It's quite clear to anybody who reads both versions that there are two separate stories being told, one to Maori and another to the rest of New Zealand," Mr English says.

"It's an abuse of taxpayer money and proves that the Labour Government is employing two standards of citizenship on New Zealand.

"It's yet more proof that the Government can't be trusted to deal openly with crucial Treaty issues," says Mr English.

"They've back-tracked and held secretive in-house negotiations over Crown ownership of our beaches and seabed.

"How can we trust them to deal honestly with this issue, when they've been so deceptive over the Local Government Act," Mr English says. Ends


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