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Key points from National Party Leader Dr Don Brash

Key points from National Party Leader, Dr Don Brash:
Orewa Rotary Club, Auckland, 7.30pm Tuesday, January 27, 2004.

· There is a dangerous drift towards racial separatism in New Zealand. We are one country with many peoples, not a society of Pakeha and Maori where the minority has a birthright to the upper hand, as the Labour Government seems to believe.

· There has been a divisive trend to embody racial distinctions into large parts of our legislation, extending recently to local body politics. In both education and healthcare, government funding is now influenced not just by need – as it should be – but also by the ethnicity of the recipient.

· Many things happened to the Maori people that should not have happened. There were injustices, and the Treaty process is an attempt to acknowledge that, and to make a gesture at recompense. But it is only that. It can be no more than that. There is a limit to how much any generation can apologise for the sins of its great grandparents.

· The short cut of referring to Maori as one group and Pakeha as another is enormously misleading. There is no homogenous, distinct Maori population, although there is a highly distinctive Maori culture, which many people see as central to their identity.

· The biggest problem we face with the Treaty process is a lack of leadership.
The next National Government will provide it.

· The Treaty of Waitangi should not be used as the basis for giving greater civil, political or democratic rights to any particular ethnic group.

· The direction in which the current Government is heading is fundamentally different and it is wrong. For the sake of our future, it must be changed.

· Under the foreshore and seabed proposals, the Labour Government will give Maori the right of veto. They can be owners, managers and regulators, all at the same time, thereby ensuring that their own developments can succeed and that others can be blocked. It is astonishing that the Government could establish such a conflict-ridden model. It is an absolute recipe for disaster.

· Over time, Maori will be able to prevent public access to the coastine.

· Maori will gain access to even more taxpayers’ funds for consultants, lawyers and hui to “build capacity” to take part in this process.

· National will return to the position where, for the most part, the Crown owns the foreshore. We will recognise customary rights, but not allow customary title.
· The Treaty is not some magical, mystical, document. It did not create a partnership: it was the launching pad for the creation of one sovereign nation.

· National is absolutely committed to completing the settlement of historical grievances. We will ensure that the process is accelerated and brought to an end. It must then be wound up so we can all look forward, not back.

· National will remove divisive race-based features from legislation.

· National believes there can be no basis for special privileges for any race, no basis for government funding based on race, no basis for introducing Maori wards in local authority elections, and no obligation for local governments to consult Maori in preference to other New Zealanders.

· National will remove the Maori seats from Parliament.

· National will focus its welfare reform efforts on the areas of need. Skin colour is irrelevant. New Zealanders who are in need will get assistance because they need it, not because they are Maori

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