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Don't Dishonour The Dead


Don't Dishonour The Dead

"I hope some of the leaders at Tangiwai today have the courage to make it more than a commemoration," ACT New Zealand Maori Affairs Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"I hope one or more of the local government leaders ignores Labour government shushing and pressure. I hope they honour the dead, and the living, by doing what every one of those who lost their lives at Tangiwai would have seen as elementary. The affected local government leaders should promise today to get a small bulldozer up to the crater rim in the next few months, to prevent the next Tangiwai disaster.

"It is no part of respect for the dead, or for those who lost them, to accept the hypocrisy of any government crocodile tears at Tangiwai. The Minister of Conservation is part of a government that is strangling our traditional culture with OSH liabilities. This year we have seen countless sports fixtures, lolly scrambles and trips for kids cancelled, because people fear the prosecutions awaiting anyone who accepts organiser's responsibility without the ability to guarantee that they can protect even fools from their own folly.

"Yet he has a totally different standard as soon as he hits a Maori claim that altering the summit, even where it could not be seen by more than a few climbers, is culturally unsafe. Spurious and undefined `spiritual and cultural values' and `national park values' weigh more than peoples' lives and the hard work and savings represented by the community's bridges, roads and other assets.

"New Zealand is getting good at ceremonies. We give increasing attention to ANZAC day. The Prime Minister will go anywhere to pay respects to dead soldiers. We seem to like speeches about not dying in vain. But it all seems to be in inverse proportion to the effort now made to make sure it doesn't happen again. And it shows no respect for the value our lost forebears placed on practical common sense. They would be shocked to rage by the political correctness ruling today," Mr Franks said.

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