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Who's The Racist, Dr Cullen?

Who's The Racist, Dr Cullen?

Wednesday 27 Aug 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

Perhaps Deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen should have taken a look in the mirror - or at his Cabinet colleagues - before he decided to brand Marlborough Mayor Tom Harrison a racist, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Both Dr Cullen and Prime Minister Helen Clark took a cheap swipe at the Marlborough District Council by saying Maori foreshore claims may not have occurred had top of the South iwi been properly involved in aquaculture discussion - this claim is patently absurd," Mr Shirley said.

"Everyone who has been involved in this issue over recent years knows that top of the South iwi have long endeavoured to `mussel' into the lucrative shellfish industry, in order to control access of successful commercial enterprises.

"Any commercial fishing claim was negated with the full and final 1992 `Sealord' Treaty settlement, which transferred more than $1 billion worth of assets to Maori ownership - to be used to help Maori into commercial fishing ventures.

"For Dr Cullen to label Mr Harrison a racist shows that Labour does not have a solution for the seabed and foreshore issue, and is desperately trying to divert attention from its own discomfort and untenable position.

"It is particularly interesting to note that Ngati Tama spokesman John Mitchell has publicly stated that the iwi's arguments are not, and have not been, with the Marlborough District Council. In light of this, Dr Cullen should apologise for his intemperate outburst," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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