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Government meddling sets dangerous precedent

Published: Wed 4 Dec 2002 02:09 PM
Government meddling sets dangerous precedent
The Margaret Wilson ‘deal’ that ended the recent occupation at Moutoa Gardens has set a dangerous precedent that all New Zealanders should be worried about, according to the National Party.
“The Environment Court decision to adjourn an appeal against Resource Consents granted to Genesis Energy, is confirmation New Zealand’s heading towards two standards of citizenship,” says National’s Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee
“Essentially the decision relies on a Ministerial letter giving undertakings to Maori, saying the Crown is prepared to set aside the legal rights of Genesis.
“The letter goes on to say the Government may legislate in the future.
“That’s tantamount to Government by decree.
“The court’s decision is weak because it usurps the right of any individual or business to seek redress from the courts under the law of the day.
“Instead it confers new rights on the Party favoured by the Minister.
“The decision denies the indisputable fact that the Treaty of Waitangi grants to all New Zealand citizens the right to stand as equals before the law.
“I believe this decision makes it clear Treaty claimants have greater rights,” Mr Brownlee says.
“It sets a very dangerous precedent that could be economically debilitating for New Zealand, as other Resource Consent Applications now risk being set aside until the Treaty settlement process is complete.
“We should expect no less from a Government that’s hell-bent on creating two standards of citizenship and determinedly anti-business,” Mr Brownlee says.

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