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National opts for party vote only in Maori seats

24 November 2004

Don Brash MP - National Party Leader

National opts for party vote only in Maori seats

The National Party today announced that it plans to campaign for the party vote only in the Maori electorates at the 2005 general election.

“The caucus agrees with a decision by the Party board that National will campaign only for the party vote in the Maori electorates. We will not be standing candidates in those seats,” says Dr Brash.

“National has a policy to wind up the Maori seats. That was the intention of Parliament in 1867 when they were first established. As a party, we are determined to deliver a process that gives all New Zealanders equality in our democracy.

“This is a stand on the principle that all of us are equal before the law, and in the eyes of Parliament. It is about building a democracy without race-based features.

“Modern New Zealand will always have a Maori voice - but in National’s view a separate electoral process is no longer required for Maori to have that voice.

“What is clear is that New Zealand is maturing as a nation and there’s no question that future Parliaments will continue to reflect the diverse make-up of our society.

“But each and every MP should be treating all constituents equally on the basis of their need regardless of their race. That is what this policy is founded on.

“National is not abandoning the Maori electorate, far from it.

“We will be asking Maori for their Party vote so that we can unchain Maori from the grievance industry and give them the same opportunities that other New Zealanders would enjoy under National - a more prosperous, secure country, with higher living standards for us all,” says Dr Brash.

ENDS


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