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Welcome Aboard, Dr Brash

Welcome Aboard, Dr Brash

Wednesday 28 Jan 2004 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

ACT New Zealand Acting Leader Ken Shirley today welcomed National Leader Don Brash's clear enunciation of National's Treaty policy, and noted that his messages directly reflect what ACT has been saying since its inception 10 years ago.

"It is pleasing to see that both Centre-Right parties are now finally in accord on this important policy area," Mr Shirley said.

"ACT was disappointed when the National Government voted down ACT MP Derek Quigley's 1998 Private Members Bill, which provided a mechanism for full, fair and final Treaty settlements.

"Dr Brash and National have now adopted Mr Quigley's proposed mechanism, with a one-year time limit for the application of new claims, a set time for the Waitangi Tribunal to resolve existing claims, and the removal of all racial preferences from the statute books.

"I also note that National now opposes the race-based preferences ingrained in the Local Government Bill, which ACT opposed alone last year.

"It is only through a mechanism like this that the grievance industry will change mode and look to the future, rather than the past. This will also stop lawyers and consultants from siphoning off millions of dollars by riding the gravy train.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen's responses to Dr Brash's speech reveal their insecurity. Their claim, that Dr Brash's is playing the race card, defies gravity. To call a policy that emphasises equality before the law, and no race-based privilege, racist is truly reverse logic," 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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