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Maori "Same" As Everyone Else - ACT

Monday 21st Jun 1999
Ken Shirley
Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Deputy Leader Hon Ken Shirley today said New Zealanders would be extremely upset by the Minister of Maori Affairs claims that Maori have a superior status to everyone else.

"It is outrageous that Tau Henare is beating up the Race Relations Office because it has a policy of treating all New Zealanders equally. It is a fundamental principle of this democracy that all New Zealanders are equal and that there is one law for all.

"The Treaty has nothing to do with the office of Race Relations. The office is there for the equal good of all New Zealanders.

"It is wrong for a Minister of the Crown to be wielding the Treaty as some sort of club to assert rights over and above those rights and freedoms enjoyed by the rest of society.

"Tau Henare's outburst is racism of the worst kind and a sign of a worrying, extremist agenda within his office.

"The discrimination Mr Henare has today shown against the 'other peoples' that live in New Zealand is very concerning for a Minister who holds portfolios affecting all New Zealanders.

"The Prime Minister must urgently review Mr Henare's portfolios to ensure his agenda isn't disadvantaging the ordinary New Zealanders he represents as a Minister of the Crown.

"Mr Henare's beat up on the Office of Race Relations is a disgrace. There is only one law in this country and it is the same for all," said Hon Ken Shirley.


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