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Opposition hypocrisy exposed

19 September 2000 Media Statement

Opposition hypocrisy exposed

The government today sheeted home the sheer hypocrisy of National and Act's scaremongering over the inclusion of Treaty clauses in legislation.

Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson told Parliament today there were more than 30 Acts of Parliament that contained such references.

These included a number of pieces of legislation passed while National was in government, such as the Resource Management Act 1991, the Crown Minerals Act 1991, the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992, the Foreshore and Seabed Endowment Revesting Act 1991 and the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998.

Margaret Wilson said National and Act MPs, led by Jenny Shipley and Richard Prebble, had been doing their utmost to generate hysteria about the Treaty clause in health legislation now before Parliament.

"A desperate Mrs Shipley would have us believe that this is something novel and dangerous that has never happened before. The reality of course is quite different. The purpose of the clause is to ensure we look at ways of best meeting the health needs of Maori.

"Not only did National preside over a list of bills with Treaty references, but this year National supported the passage of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000, which included a reference to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"The government's approach to the Treaty of Waitangi is driven by the Closing the Gaps, which involves facing up to the reality of what is happening in New Zealand today.

"We want to close the appalling social and economic gaps that exist between Maori and Pacific peoples, and other New Zealanders, which in effect means closing the gaps between the poor and the well-off.

"We are doing this because we want to build an inclusive society. All Mrs Shipley focuses on is division and distortion, and that does absolutely nothing to restore a sense of balance in this country," Margaret Wilson said.

ENDS

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