INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt's Treaty correctness ousts freedom of speech

Published: Mon 6 Nov 2000 01:00 PM
Govt's Treaty correctness ousts freedom of speech
Monday 6th Nov 2000 Stephen Franks Media Release -- Justice
“We should welcome Sandra Lee’s determination to say what she really thinks about Maori experience last century,” said ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks.
“Labour and Alliance’s attempts this year to gag colleagues, officials and community leaders who say what they believe threaten our freedom of speech. Policy developed in this climate will divide, not unite.
“We badly need to know what drives the policies of this cabinet. Ms Turia and Ms Lee plainly support the Waitangi Tribunal claims that Maori history was a holocaust. Historians and New Zealanders generally can decide for themselves if this as a ludicrous twisting of history, but getting such clear statements helps us judge what’s behind Government policies.
“Many leaders in this area have had the treatment – for example Rajan Prasad, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, the Treaty Fisheries Commissioners.
“The Government has a racial privilege agenda that the public would reject if the Government was honest about its intentions. The agenda should be honestly debated, as Sandra Lee and Tariana Turia are attempting to do.
“The Government that believed in our heritage rights of equality before the law, one person, one vote, and freedom of speech would not be trying to crush honest debate with sackings or threats to send them to Coventry,” Mr Franks said.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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