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Consult river users on Tainui negotiations

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

02 May 2006

Consult river users on Tainui negotiations

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee is calling on Labour to consult river users before concluding negotiations with Tainui over the Treaty claim on the Waikato River.

"It's simply not good enough for Waikato River users to be consulted after a deal has been done."

Mr Brownlee is commenting in the wake of answers to questions in Parliament today, where Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton confirmed talks were under way, but refused to disclose what's up for negotiation or whether river users might face additional costs.

"Non-Maori river users have just as much right to be part of the process as do Maori.

"I'm urging the Minister to seek a waiver in the confidentiality clause around the negotiations so New Zealanders can know what's on the table and how it will effect users of this important natural resource, including Auckland's Watercare Services and Genesis Energy.

"And in an evenly divided Parliament, it would also be polite for Labour to consult the major opposition party about the negotiations before settlement legislation comes to the House," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS

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