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Thursday, July 12

Key's comments on Waitangi Tribunal wrong


John Key is willing to push asset sales through while denying Maori due process, Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The Prime Minister today continued to assert that his Government would push ahead with selling Mighty River Power despite a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal regarding water rights.

"It is wrong for the Prime Minister of New Zealand to assert that the Government intends to ignore the Waitangi Tribunal," said Dr Norman.

"The Key Government looks to be in for a long court battle with Maori over water rights that will impact on the amount of money the Government stands to make from the sale of Mighty River Power.

"Mr Key's cavalier approach to the work of the Waitangi Tribunal as demonstrated by his public statements over the last two days should also be of concern to his coalition partners, the Maori Party.

"The water rights issue is yet another reason why the asset sales programme shouldn't go ahead.

"The Key Government's push to sell state owned assets at all costs looks likely to not only affect the Government's ability to generate revenue from owning all of Mighty River Power but also the Government's relationship with Maori," said Dr Norman.

"This week's actions in dismissing the authority of the Waitangi Tribunal follow on from the Government's arrogant truncation of the Select Committee hearings in order to rush the Mixed Ownership Model Bill through parliament."