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Dunne seeks bi-partisan foreshore talks

Dunne seeks bi-partisan foreshore talks

United Future leader Peter Dunne today called for top-level talks between the Prime Minister and National’s Dr Don Brash over the foreshore and seabed issue so that progress can be made involving the greatest possible number of New Zealanders.

“The depth of reaction to Dr Brash’s Orewa speech shows it has struck a chord with New Zealanders,” he said.

“While some of the reaction is too extreme, there are many New Zealanders who are not extreme who share some or all of the concerns Dr Brash raised and they cannot be overlooked.

“The government would be wrong to dismiss out of hand the reaction to Dr Brash’s speech.

“The challenge now is to devise the best way of addressing this public unease, without further inflaming the situation.”

Mr Dunne said “For many New Zealanders the issue is not one of whether disadvantaged Maori should be supported, but rather the extent of that support.

“There is a feeling that the pendulum has swung too far.

“The challenge for both the government and Dr Brash is to set out solutions which address the underlying concerns fairly and reasonably.

“Setting goals in key areas like health, education and housing for all New Zealanders, and then working to make sure that, regardless of race or creed, they all have an equal opportunity to achieve those goals is the only way forward.

Mr Dunne said “One practical, immediate step to bridge the gap now evident would be for the Prime Minister and Dr Brash to sit down and talk directly, the way United Future has been doing, about the best way forward on the foreshore and seabed issue so that we arrive at a solution that engages the greatest number possible of New Zealanders.

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