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Labour back-flips on Treaty promise

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

09 June 2005

Labour back-flips on Treaty promise

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Labour has back-flipped on a key promise to remove inconsistent Treaty of Waitangi references in legislation.

He is commenting after Labour last night voted against a Bill that would have allowed work to start on deleting references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation.

"This is a huge disappointment for all those New Zealanders who took Labour at their word last year.

"Trevor Mallard was appointed to look at these very issues, but he has failed to provide any changes of substance. He also promised that his work would be completed before the general election.

"But just yesterday he told us he hadn't even bothered to find out how much the taxpayer was spending on Treaty education courses. Now, he and the Prime Minister have backed down on statements made last year in the wake of Don Brash's Orewa Speech.

"Labour should be ashamed about the way it has misled the public. Only National can be trusted to deliver policies based on need rather than race," says Mr Brownlee.

QUOTES "Mr Mallard will also take responsibility for general issues concerning the Treaty of Waitangi, such as the place of references to the Treaty in legislation. There has been no clear ministerial responsibility in this area at all." - Helen Clark Media Statement February 24 2004.

"Inconsistent and incoherent references" to the Treaty of Waitangi in legislation will be tidied up, he said - Dominion Post Feb 25 2004.

'There are facts and there are perceptions, and there is a perception in New Zealand of enormous amounts of dosh being tossed toward Maori. I'm not sure if that is true. It's one of the things I want to find out'. - Dominion Post February 25, 2004.

"He told the Herald that such references would be removed from laws if they were "not needed or appropriate"... Asked if he could see clauses being removed from legislation, he said: "If they're not needed and not appropriate, yes." - NZ Herald Feb 25 2004

ENDS

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