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Let's have reasoned debate

Don Brash MP

National Party Leader


9th February 2004

Let's have reasoned debate

National Party leader Don Brash has flatly rejected suggestions from Prime Minister Helen Clark that he was inciting civil unrest with a newspaper advertising campaign on Labour's seabed and foreshore proposals, to be run tomorrow.

Dr Brash said the public was entitled to see the deception involved in the Government's conflicting statements.

"On the one hand the Prime Minister says the Government is 'acting in the interests of all New Zealanders.' But at the same time the Government's top legal advisor, Solicitor-General Terence Arnold, QC, was telling the Waitangi Tribunal the Labour Government's proposals conferred 'a real power' to Maori, including veto rights.

"Helen Clark simply cannot be allowed to get away with this duplicity.

"Last year we exposed similar duplicity when the Internal Affairs Department was producing two brochures, saying one thing in English and spinning another story in Maori for a different audience. As a result of our actions in revealing this, the brochures had to be pulped, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Dr Brash said the advertising campaign would be uncomfortable for the Prime Minister, but it served her right for deliberately withholding details of the Government's plans till the day after Parliament had risen last year.

Ends


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