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Brash tries to wriggle off his own hook

10 March 2004 Media Statement

Brash tries to wriggle off his own hook

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that Don Brash’s attempts to wriggle off the hook of the debate he wanted on Treaty-related issues are laughable.

“Don Brash only ever wanted to stir the pot on these issues and keep it boiling. The last thing he wants is for debate to move on in a constructive way.

“Over many years governments of all shades have got on and done business with Maoridom under the auspices of a Crown-Maori relationship. That process has seen Treaty settlements concluded and references to the Treaty entering legislation and public policy.

“What is clear is that these developments were off the general public’s radar screen because they were seen as peripheral. But the cumulative impact of many years of these developments now brings the issues to the fore.

“That is why calls for an inquiry into the place of the Treaty in New Zealand law need to be listened to very carefully. These issues go to the heart of our nationhood.

“Clearly Don Brash does not want to be involved in any constructive way in resolving these issues. But others do, and the government will keep on working with them.

“Meantime the National Party’s cynical politics stand fully exposed. They enjoyed the debate while it was destructive of unity and harmony, and can’t cope when it moves into a constructive phase,” Helen Clark said.


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