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Brash Slings Mud At Workers' Rights

5 February, 2003

Brash slings mud at workers' rights

Green MP Sue Bradford has dismissed National Party leader Don Brash's claims that the Holidays Act would give Maori unlimited tangi leave, saying they were completely unfounded and could breach the Bill of Rights.

Ms Bradford, the Green Employment spokesperson, said Mr Brash was essentially encouraging employers to break the law and make hiring decisions purely on the basis of race.

"Dr Brash's comments are totally discriminatory and racist," said Ms Bradford. "He's obviously unaware of the Bill of Rights that explicitly rules out racial discrimination.

"He is encouraging employers to break the law by discriminating on the basis of race. What makes it worse is that he's doing so on an alarmingly ignorant interpretation of the new Holidays Act.

"You would think he'd have bothered to read the Act before making such outrageous comments.

"If Mr Brash can't understand a piece of legislation designed to improve the working conditions of all New Zealanders, then the idea that he could one day lead this country is almost too tragic to bear," she said.

Ms Bradford said Dr Brash's campaign of Maori-bashing under the guise of 'equality' was, in reality, an attempt to perpetuate a right-wing white-first agenda.

"He is attempting to dredge up the failed right-wing ideologies of the 1990s that failed this country so miserably. Not only would he turn the clock back, he would also attempt to undo the progress New Zealand has made towards redressing the injustices and inequalities caused by colonisation and its consequences.

"We would all have mud on our faces if we let Dr Brash and his racist fear-mongering back into power," said Ms Bradford.


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