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National Party being dishonest on foreshore/seabed

29 November 2005

National Party being dishonest on foreshore/seabed

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen today challenged National to explain how it could with any consistency support a bid by the Maori Party to overturn the foreshore and seabed law.

Dr Cullen was responding to reports that National would consider supporting a private members bill by Maori Party Co-leader Pita Sharples to scrap the legislation should Dr Sharples win the ballot.

“I have no criticism of the Maori Party’s motives, but National’s are dishonest and do it no credit at all.

“True, National has said it favours repeal but that is where any agreement with the Maori Party ends.

“The Maori Party wants to revert to the status quo ante and reassert the right of Maori to claim rights of ownership in the Maori Land Court.

“National sits, or should that be lies, at the other end of the spectrum having campaigned against any special recognition at all for Maori as tangata whenua.

“If Dr Sharples were to get a chance to promote his bill and were that bill to pass, the result would be completely opposite to National’s declared policy on this issue,” Dr Cullen said.

“There has to be a time when the political games stop and National stands up for what it actually believes in,” he said.

ENDS

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