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PM can't be trusted on review of Maori policies

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman
24 February 2004

PM can't be trusted on review of Maori policies

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the public will find it hard to believe the Prime Minister is serious about changing her Government's direction on raced-based policies.

"In all good conscience, how can the Prime Minister claim to be concerned about race relations when for the past three weeks she's been accusing the National Party of racism and divisiveness?

"The public can not trust this politically correct, spin obsessed Government to carry out a faithful review, when Michael Cullen has described the Treaty as a 'living document where new applications or implications may arise as circumstances change'.

"It's clear this Government is more intent on retaining power than doing what's right for New Zealand. How can the public trust Helen Clark not to do another U-turn as soon as the political climate allows?

"This latest back down has all the hallmarks of the move to 'abandon' Closing The Gaps, which has continued by stealth under a different name - Reducing Inequalities.

"It's also a lot like the foreshore and seabed debate. Labour Ministers, including the Prime Minister, have been telling non-Maori one thing, but sending quite a different message to Maori audiences," says Mr Brownlee.

"National exposed this hypocrisy last year with local Government pamphlets that said one thing in English, and another in Maori.

"Only National has the will to reverse Labour's divisive agenda. Helen Clark will make cosmetic changes and return to her agenda when she thinks no one is looking.

"The public of New Zealand, both Maori and non-Maori, have had enough," says Mr Brownlee.

Ends

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