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Statement from Andrew Little Re: Goff Speech

Monday 7 December 2009
Statement from Andrew Little

Following a report in today’s edition of the New Zealand Herald, some may have gained the impression that I was not supportive of the views expressed in Phil Goff’s recent speech.

That is not the impression I attempted to convey in the interview and I feel it is necessary to state for the record my views on the matter.

Phil briefed me on the contents of the speech before he gave it and we specifically discussed both the ETS and the foreshore and seabed issues.

The issue of the ETS and the impact that deal might have on any deal on the foreshore and seabed legislation is an important one.

Phil was right to express his concerns that the deal between National and the Maori Party opens the way for Treaty settlements to be reopened whenever government has to change policy to deal with new circumstances.

In relation to the foreshore and seabed, there has been an announcement that the legislation is to be repealed. The question now is what to replace it with.

Phil has correctly raised this issue for discussion and debate and he would be negligent as leader of a major party and as leader of the opposition if he did not lead the debate on these issues.

There has been a range of reaction to the speech amongst the party membership and these reactions have been fully canvassed at last weekend’s New Zealand Council meeting. Like any major speech on a controversial issue there will continue to be discussion and reactions which is what needs to happen on these two crucial issues.

I support the stance taken by Phil in the speech and encourage ongoing discussion and debate about the issues that matter to New Zealanders.

Andrew Little
Labour Party President


ENDS

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