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Beach Users Will Pay For Govt Arrogance

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokeswoman

08 December 2003

Beach Users Will Pay For Govt Arrogance

The Government must take responsibility for suggestions of Maori taking direct protest action on our beaches this summer, says National Party Maori Affairs spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu.

"Maori are reacting to the deceitful and arrogant way in which the Government has treated them on the seabed and foreshore issue.

"The Government has created a war when there was peace. We've all used the beaches together for 160 years with no real problems.

"Now mums and dads around the country will be wondering if they will be able to take their kids to the beaches this summer," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"The Labour Government has taken Maori down a road that it knew would lead no-where. It's arrogant and unprincipled, but it's typical of a Government that many New Zealanders would agree, speaks with a forked tongue.

"The Government has taken Maori through a very public consultation process, raising false expectations, all the while knowing it could not deliver on any of them.

"This will create a foment within Maori communities that will be difficult to overcome or erase. The consultation has proved to be a complete sham," says Mrs te Heuheu.

"Perhaps the outcome was inevitable, but Maori deserved to be treated in a more upfront and straightforward manner.

"A National Government would be far more upfront and honest in dealing with Maori, unlike Labour, which has shown itself completely incapable of doing that.

"Maori won't forget the way they've been treated in a hurry," Mrs te Heuheu warns.

Ends

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