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Academics prove PM wrong

Wayne Mapp MP National Party Associate Treaty Spokesman

06 September 2004

Academics prove PM wrong

National Party Associate Treaty spokesman Wayne Mapp is concerned by the reluctance of some academics to distance themselves from claims of 'civil war' over the Foreshore and Seabed legislation.

"Again at the select committee hearings today we have heard a range of views about the prospect of 'civil war'.

"Dame Joan Metge, Dr Manuka Henare and Dr David Williams were all questioned about their opinions on the remarks by Auckland University Professor Margaret Mutu who forecast 'the sorts of things ... that happen in Palestine and Israel'.

"Their views differed but two of the three appeared reluctant to disassociate themselves from Margaret Mutu's civil war claims.

"I don't think any New Zealander, Maori or non-Maori can possibly believe this kind of extreme language is acceptable or helpful.

"According to Helen Clark, these academics are supposed to 'look at the facts in a dispassionate way, to reason carefully. And all I can say about the statements of Margaret Mutu is they don't exhibit the characteristics of academia'.

"But it would appear the 'academia' is out to prove the Prime Minister wrong. Ms Clark must now send a clear signal about what she expects from those who are educating future leaders.

"New Zealanders must also be concerned by suggestions of a back-down by John Tamihere.

"He has claimed today that changes to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill are likely to take a 'huge level of heat' out of the debate.

"New Zealanders deserve to be told up front what those changes are. We also deserve to be told what's being negotiated behind closed doors to ensure the 'heat' is taken out of the debate," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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