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Is Mr Peters Sincere On The Treaty?

Is Mr Peters Sincere On The Treaty?

Thursday 30 Sep 2004

Stephen Franks Press Releases - Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

ACT New Zealand Maori Affairs Spokesman Stephen Franks today commended parts of New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters' Treaty policy but questioned its sincerity, saying that what Mr Peters does with his vote is more telling than what he says.

"I would take Mr Peters' policy more seriously had he voted with ACT against the inclusion of the fake Treaty principles in laws, passed over the past two years, after he joined me in challenging the Prime Minister to define them," Mr Franks said.

"It is sensible to separate the Maori Land Court from the Waitangi Tribunal, to reduce conflicts of interest. Mr Peters' draft deletion Bill is direct, though it is so crude that it will leave suspended remnants in many places to fester.

"Also odd is Mr Peters' plan to increase Government funding to claimants while, at the same time, attacking the gravy train. We usually get more of what we subsidise. The small print money promises seem designed to appease gravy train leaders, while the headline attacks are meant only for worried pakeha.

"The highest soft spot is the absent word `partnership'. That hot potato does not show anywhere in the thousands of words.

"Most of the race privilege now distorting our democracy depends on the fuzzy `partnership' - which was invented by a few judges, from a Treaty document that has no hint of partnership in it.

"Mr Peters might argue that partnership is one of the false principles, and will go when they are abolished. He must expressly confirm that, as partnership has often been asserted as a `foundation' of the Treaty, not only a principle drawn from it. He must undertake to bury the spurious `partnership'.

"I will release a copy of my letter responding to Mr Peters' request to withhold members' Bills from the ballot, to give his Bill a better chance of being drawn, when he's had a chance to consider it," Mr Franks said.


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