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Dunne: Pacific Island seats ill-considered

Friday, 8 December 2006

Dunne: Pacific Island seats ill-considered

United Future leader Peter Dunne has signalled his strong opposition to a reported proposal from the Maori party to further separate New Zealand's Parliament down racial lines.

Reports that Turiana Turia is advocating separate Pacific Island seats in Parliament, or Pacific peoples' inclusion on the Maori roll, was "heading in the wrong direction," according to Mr Dunne.

"The Royal Commission found that our MMP system reduces the need for a separate Maori roll, and I can see no basis for the proposal to further separate our electoral system ethnically.

"While it appears inevitable that the Maori and general rolls will merge at some stage, United Future believes that Maori will ultimately be the judge of when this occurs.

"However, to suggest that Pacific peoples should also have their own seats just because they are ethnically close relatives of Maori is a baseless proposition that was disappointing to hear from the Maori Party.

"Further ethnic division of New Zealand's Parliament would be acrimonious to good government, and to suggest otherwise is unhelpful and ill-considered," says Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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