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Shipley Personal Statement to the House

Mr Speaker

I understand that this afternoon in the House there have been assertions made that in the comments during my speech in relation to the snap debate on the spectrum yesterday that I in some way cast a reflection on people within the Pacific Island community.

I understand that the assertion is in line with the comments made by the Member, Mark Gosche, where and I quote from his statement, he believed, I quote "demonstrated my intolerance and prejudice toward Maori and Pacific Island people".

Mr Speaker, I totally refute that allegation. I have spent 10 years in this Parliament seeking to close the gaps and in doing so for example advanced the superannuation portability for Pacific Island people.

In the context of this debate these comments were made when the Labour/Alliance Coalition were arguing that in some way a discounted access arrangement would close the gaps for people for whom current disparities exist. I made comments in my speech that I did not believe there had been demonstrated in any way any connection between access to a discounted right to radio spectrum ... and [social disparities].

I made some comments and if any way they have caused offence to people inside or outside the House, then I am most certainly sorry for that, but I wish to make it clear as I did yesterday that the assertion that somehow or other access to a discounted spectrum will close the gaps for Maori or Pacific Island people is simply not true.

ends

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