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No place for Labour Party’s race division tactics

Media Statement
Rahui Katene
Maori Party MP

26 November 2009

No place for Labour Party’s race division tactics

The Maori Party is calling on the public not to fall into the scaremongering trap that Labour Party leader Phil Goff has tried to set in his version of another racially divisive Orewa type speech made in Palmerston North today.

“Mr Goff is doing his hardest to polarise the public into attacking Maori through launching a misguided campaign that Maori are getting special treatment when they are not,” Maori Party MP Rahui Katene said.

“If Maori were getting special privilege then this country’s prisons and hospitals would not be full of Maori people.

"It is not surprising that Mr Goff has chosen an Orewa type speech to launch his race division speech given the Labour Party's association with the Don Brash Orewa speech – a speech checked by former Labour Minister Dr Michael Bassett,” Mrs Katene said.

"It is also important for the public to know that Mr Goff was a student of Dr Bassett and his speech today shows he has learnt well at the feet of his master who is a long standing friend of Dr Brash.”

Labour was struggling to regain ground lost to the Maori Party and divisions are showing as Labour Maori caucus members express their disquiet at the use of the race card being used by some of their colleagues including their leader, Mrs Katene said.

Quotes from Bassett letter to Dominion Post on 3 December 2006:

“I have been a friend of Don Brash’s since 1967.”

“I also had Helen Clark and Phil Goff as students of mine, and there have been many contacts with them. Mike Williams of the Labour Party wrote a thesis under my supervision, too.”

“Soon after that speech Dr Brash told the press about those who had helped check its accuracy, mentioning my name.”


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