INDEPENDENT NEWS

Dover Samuels supports the Prime Minister's plans

Published: Thu 20 Jan 2000 04:40 PM
Dover Samuels
MP for Te Tai Tokerau
Minister of Maori Affairs
Associate Minister of Fisheries
Associate Minister of Tourism
Media Statement
January 20 2000
Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels supports the Prime Minister's plans for Waitangi Day.
Helen Clark said her program would not include being at Waitangi on Waitangi Day.
"As the Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau I am disappointed however I respect the Prime Minister's decision."
"The disappointment is as a member of the Ngapuhi tribe. I had hoped we would have been able to resolve our internal differences to ensure honoured guests are treated with dignity and respect and are not drawn into our internal debates about protocol."
"I'm sure everyone would like the attention of the Prime Minister on such and important day. In the spirit of the new millennium it is perhaps appropriate that a new destination be visited on Waitangi Day."
"The importance here is to focus on the real issue which is to continue a healthy relationship between Maori and the Crown."
"I look forward to the day when the social and economic gap between Maori and non-Maori is closed. When that day arrives then we will truly be able to celebrate Waitangi Day as a nation that can be proud of its heritage."
Mr Samuels will be in Waitangi from the 5th.
ENDS

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