23 July 2014
In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."
"I presume in using the word “rant” Mr Flavell refers to my interview on this week’s Native Affairs program and suggest he re-looks at the interview. He should compare my measured approach with his speech today and ask himself “who is the one 'ranting' here?”
"Unfortunately for Mr Flavell I do understand the history of our nation. I understand the founding vision that we should be one people with “equal rights and privileges” as set out in the Treaty. The Conservative Party is happy to stand for that uniting vision. Let me say clearly that laws of racial segregation are not the answer for Maori, or anyone else for that matter. Mr Flavell points to the flaws of racially segregating laws in the past, and yet stands arguing for them today. Nothing could be more inconsistent."
"Mr Flavell implies that Conservative policy is somehow a minority view. It is simply not so. New Zealanders are tired of division along racial lines and they do not support laws of segregation."
"Given the ever-increasing number of laws and processes that segregate New Zealanders on the basis of race, I think it is important for this to be part of the election debate, and his suggestion that I should not speak out on this matter shows he is the one holding the indefensible position."
"Perhaps Mr Flavell needs to ask why the Conservative Party achieved more votes in a five week campaign last election than the Maori Party who had years to prepare? We continue to gain the support of New Zealanders - support that is growing daily, while in contrast the Maori Party looks to be struggling."
"I am happy to stand up for a nation in which all people are treated equally and without racial bias," Mr Craig concludes.