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Trade deal exposes Labour’s hypocrisy

Trade deal exposes Labour’s hypocrisy

The national interest analysis released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this week reveals Labour’s hypocrisy on Treaty of Waitangi policy, says National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

“Following the huge public support for Don Brash’s proposals in his Treaty of Waitangi speech at Orewa last year, Labour promised that Maori would have no extra rights or privileges under the Treaty of Waitangi,” says Dr Smith.

“Helen Clark appointed Trevor Mallard as Minister for Race Relations, in an attempt to win back some of the massive support Dr Brash’s arguments had attracted.”

In his ‘We’re all New Zealanders now’ speech to Victoria University in July last year, Trevor Mallard said, “Maori have no extra rights or privileges under the Treaty or in the policy of the New Zealand Government”.

“The national interest analysis Labour has just released on the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Thailand shows those words to be hypocritical,” says Dr Smith.

Article 15.8 of the trade agreement includes the words “nothing in this agreement shall preclude the adoption by New Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment to Maori in respect of matters covered by this agreement, including the fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.”

“If the words of Trevor Mallard were truthful, that in Government policy Maori have no extra rights or privileges, it begs the question as to why a reservation is necessary in a trade agreement to allow more favourable treatment to Maori by the Government of New Zealand.

“Labour should explain its apparent hypocrisy,” says Dr Smith.

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