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Maori Party ETS ‘wins’ as clear as mud

17 September 2009
Media Statement

Maori Party ETS ‘wins’ as clear as mud

The so-called wins made by the Maori Party over the ETS deal appear to be disintegrating by the day and highlight how shambolic the negotiations must have been, Labour’s Associate Energy spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Worse still it appears the Government may have deliberately set out to hoodwink the Maori Party, which is finding itself in the embarrassing position of having to change its story on these so-called gains on a daily basis.

“First we had the Maori Party claiming it had successfully negotiated some kind of benefit increase with Nick Smith, only for it to be revealed that Minister had only assured them the annual CPI increase to benefits would proceed as usual.

“Then we had the Prime Minister admitting yesterday that the Treaty clause promised to the Maori Party is still being drafted,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Then we heard one Maori Party co-leader claiming 2000 Maori households would get free insulation as a result of the deal, then his spokesperson saying the matter was still being negotiated and the other co-leader saying something quite different again.

“In Parliament today it became clear that the Maori Party appears to have secured no extra funding to insulate households – rather that the ‘negotiations’ are over insulation funding already announced in the Budget,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Gerry Brownlee ducked and dived before effectively confirming this. His refusal to confirm those negotiations would result in any new funding said it all.

“His colleague Nick Smith refused to release any details of the agreement with the exception of ‘bullet points’ – an insult to the public and another example of the spin over substance agenda he’s running to try to ram through poor legislation.

“Of course another key ‘win’ trumpeted by the Maori Party was a commitment by National to consult with the Maori Party over various aspects of the ETS.

“If this involves the type of consultation we've seen this week where Ministers has pulled the wool over the Maori Party's eyes on several fronts, the so-called consultation won’t be a win at all. It appears the Government’s bad faith negotiations have not been limited to Labour, but have in fact extended to the Maori Party as well,” Chris Hipkins says.


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