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Republicans challenge Maori

News Release
Monday 3 April 2006
Exclusive to Scoop

Republicans challenge Maori

The choice that Maori people currently have to enrol on the General Roll or the Maori Roll is an opportunity for them to show their support for true equality by choosing the General Roll says Wayne Hawkins, Deputy Leader of the Republic of New Zealand Party (The Republicans).

“They could put an end to electoral apartheid right now if they chose to do so,” he said

Mr Hawkins said the reason for the introduction of Maori Seats in the nineteenth century had long since disappeared.

“The continuation of electoral separatism is actually harmful to Maori, because it keeps issues of concern to them out of the mainstream of New Zealand politics, “

Mr Hawkins said that if Maori seats were retained then other ethnic minorities would be entitled to claim the right to have their own seats too.

“We reject the idea of special seats based on ethnicity. We should all be together on the same rolls, “he said.

Mr Hawkins said a Republican government would place a high priority on completing Treaty reconciliation and then replacing the Treaty of Waitangi with a written constitution guaranteeing all people equality before the law.

“There’ll be no place for electoral separatism in our new republic,” concluded Mr Hawkins


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