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Govt's Waitangi Boycott Farcical

Government's Waitangi Boycott Reaches Farcical Proportions

The Prime Minister has allowed her personal grudge against the people of Waitangi to descend to absurd depths of pettiness, National's Defence spokesman Wayne Mapp said today.

Dr Mapp was responding to media reports that the Government has banned the Royal New Zealand Navy from taking part in Waitangi Day commemorations at Waitangi.

"The navy has been represented at Waitangi for the last 52 years, including all of the difficult years in which there were protests. It is quite absurd that the Prime Minister is using her personal grudges as justification for banning the navy from attending in 2001.

"The complete nature of this boycott would make Waitangi the only place in New Zealand which would be a Government-free zone on our national day.

"Is this latest ban designed to ensure no-one can enjoy the commemorations at Waitangi? Is the Prime Minister attempting to downgrade the ceremonies so much that they become, in effect, an irrelevancy?

"It is disturbing to witness the Prime Minister using the powers of her office to exact a personal vendetta against the people of Waitangi. The fact that she has extended this abuse of power to include the navy reveals just how petty her campaign is," Dr Mapp said.


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