Nats all ‘say’ and no ‘do’ on equal rights

A flyer challenging Prime Minister Bill English’s record on a single standard of citizenship went out to 1.6 million households today. The flyer that calls on everyone to use their vote in this year’s election “to end National’s race-based policies” was distributed by equal rights group Hobson’s Pledge.

By appeasing continuous tribal demands, National Party leaders are surrendering what’s not theirs to give away, purely to cling onto political power, spokesman Don Brash said.

The National Party constitution commits to equal citizenship. In 2002, Bill English strongly supported a single standard of citizenship, and in 2003, Mr English committed National to scrapping Maori electorates, Dr Brash said.

As the leader of the National Party, I also pledged one law for all in 2004 and 2005, Dr Brash said.

In 2008, former Prime Minister John Key promised to scrap Maori electorates.

But what the National-led Government has done is the complete opposite, Dr Brash said. This government has:

  • Imposed the unelected Independent Maori Statutory Board on Auckland.
  • Funded claims by tribes for customary marine title over the entire coast.
  • Given Maori preferential consultation rights on local government planning and resource consents.
  • Allowed a bicultural straitjacket for schools and universities.
  • Not made the slightest move to scrap Maori electorates

Dr Brash said that Hobson’s Pledge is calling on Parliament to:

  • Abolish Auckland city’s separatist Independent Maori Statutory Board.
  • Abolish the Maori electorates, redundant since 1893, when all adults got the vote.
  • Close the Waitangi Tribunal.
  • Remove all references in law and in government policy to Treaty “partnership” and “principles”.
  • Repeal the Mana Whakahono a Rohe “iwi participation agreements” from the Resource Legislation Amendment Act.
  • Ensure the allocation of water remains in the control of local authorities, not tribes.
  • End tax exemptions for multi-million dollar tribal businesses.

Dr Brash, with Auckland business manager Casey Costello, represents a national campaign which says that successive Governments have taken New Zealand further and further away from the kind of country that most New Zealanders want – one where everybody is equal before the law.