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Labour Should Come Clean On Secret Deals

Dr Wayne Mapp MP

National Party Associate Treaty Spokesman
4 October 2004

Labour should come clean on secret deals

"Labour should come clean on the secret deal it is doing with Tainui after an admission that Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta is being kept in the dark about talks that may cut across the foreshore and seabed legislation," says National's Associate Treaty spokesman Wayne Mapp.

He is commenting on the final oral submissions presented today on the controversial Bill, including strong opposition from Labour's own Nanaia Mahuta.

"The Government has been very cagey about the talks it is having with Tainui, talks that may end up seeing chunks of the foreshore and seabed offered to Tainui as part of an historical settlement," says Dr Mapp

"Treaty settlements are outside the seabed and foreshore legislation, and that leads to a significant shift in policy by stealth.

"The Tainui MP confirmed today that talks are under way. Labour is clearly attempting to curry favour with the iwi out of the public spotlight."

Dr Mapp says it's time for the Government to abandon its unpopular foreshore and seabed proposals - after a long process that has generated overwhelming opposition.

"Labour will ignore the public outcry at its own peril. It's now clear it has written legislation that almost no one wants passed into law, including some of its own MPs.

"The process could have gone on for months but the message would remain the same.

"Nevertheless, the Government appears determined to force this flawed legislation through the House before the end of the year. While it might be politically expedient for Helen Clark, it is a tragedy for democracy

"National believes the foreshore and seabed should be restored to the status it enjoyed before the Court of Appeal ruling that triggered the debate - it should be preserved for all New Zealanders," says Dr Mapp.

Ends


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