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Mauri Pacific justice policy 'separatist nonsense'

Tuesday 12th Oct 1999
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Justice

ACT Leader Richard Prebble says Mauri Pacific's justice policy, including Maori-run prisons for Maori offenders, is separatist nonsense.

Mr Prebble said Mauri Pacific's proposal to give Maori lore equal standing with English common law showed a misunderstanding of common law.

"The Treaty of Waitangi gave all of us, Maori and Pakeha, the same rights as British subjects, and made us all subject to the same law. To say that we should now have another separate "Maori lore" system makes a mockery of the Treaty," Mr Prebble said.

"In Maori society in 1840, might was right. Who is going to decide which of the Maori lore in 1840 is going to be law today?

"The proposal ignores the fact Maori signed the Treaty in order to escape from the very customs that Mauri Pacific wish to reintroduce.

"The Mauri Pacific party's energy would be better directed at tackling the real problems facing Maori such as low educational attainment, poor health and the breakdown of the Maori family.

"Of course, these issues would require real policy not slogans."


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