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Labour Two-Faced Over Maori Fishing Quota

Labour Two-Faced Over Maori Fishing Quota

Tuesday 22 Jun 2004 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Fisheries Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today accused the Coordinating Minister for Race Relations Trevor Mallard of hypocrisy after failing to reject a proposal to give Maori 20 percent of marine farming space around the New Zealand coastline.

"Today in the House, I asked Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope whether he had sought clearance from Mr Mallard that his proposal was needs - not race - based, and what specific needs it addressed," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The Minister's response to my question was that he hadn't discussed the issue with Mr Mallard directly. It beggars belief that Mr Mallard - in his new role - has not been specifically consulted, let alone expressed a strong opinion on the matter.

"In March this year, Mr Mallard announced the Government's Terms of Reference for its review of targeted policy and programmes. He promised New Zealanders that these would be needs, not race, based. In his release, he said:

`The objective of the review is to give ministers and the public assurance that policy is being developed on the basis of need, not on the basis of race'. (Government Media Release, 25 March 2004)

"The ink is barely dry on this release, and Labour is already dishing out 20 percent of aquaculture rights to Maori - a clear case of special treatment for Maori if ever there was one.

"Once again, this spin-happy Government has shown that it is not to be trusted. New Zealanders are sick and tired of Labour saying one thing to their faces, and then going behind their backs," Mr Eckhoff said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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