Many who voted for New Zealand First with their party vote will feel deeply betrayed, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.
“Before the election, Mr Peters said that one of his ‘bottom lines’ in any negotiations to form a government would be holding a binding referendum open to all New Zealand voters on whether to retain the Maori electorates,” he said.
“But the Labour/NZ First coalition agreement, which has a huge amount of detail in it, has not a trace of anything which could be interpreted as relevant to his commitment on the referendum, the Resource Management Act, or Treaty issues more generally,” he said.
“Over many years, Mr Peters has stressed his commitment to treating all New Zealanders as equal before the law,” Dr Brash said.
“Indeed, in the context of a discussion about the iwi participation agreements written into the amendment to the Resource Management Act by the National-led Government, Mr Peters told me that in his view racial preference was the most important single issue facing the country at present,” he said.
"Yet the coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First is entirely silent, both on the referendum and on the wider issue,” Dr Brash said.
“Betrayed” is certainly not too strong a word to describe how many New Zealand First voters will be feeling, he said.