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Cullen plays race card of his own

Cullen plays race card of his own

National Party Leader Bill English is strongly rejecting unsubstantiated accusations by Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen that he's guilty of inciting race hatred.

"It's ridiculous, all the National Party is doing is holding the Government to account for the promises it made over the beaches and seabed issue six weeks ago.

"The National Party has been doing its job as an effective opposition," says Mr English.

"By association, Dr Cullen's now accusing the thousands upon thousands of concerned New Zealanders who've signed our petition or taken to the streets in protest.

"If we are guilty of anything, it is trying to make the Government deliver on its promises.

"Months ago the National Party identified Treaty issues as a major challenge for New Zealand - long before the beaches and seabed issue bubbled to the surface.

"We have consistently accused Labour of refusing to debate these important issues in public and now we have proof, with the Government negotiating a secret deal to settle Maori claims to the foreshore.

"Labour had promised to guarantee exclusive Crown title to the beaches and seabed, but ever since the Government has been backing away.

"To the contrary, National's position is very clear, we stand for one standard of citizenship and we don't believe there's any room for compromise on the ownership of our beaches and seabed," says Mr English.

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