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Hide Supports The Treaty, Not Maori Seats

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rodney Hide
Rodney Hide

Wellington, Aug 30 NZPA - Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said his opposition to Maori seats on the new Auckland super council does not mean he does not support the Treaty of Waitangi.

"I support the Treaty 100 percent but the Treaty isn't about partnership and the Treaty isn't about saying that there should be Maori representation on Auckland Council."

The Treaty said every citizen should be equal and "that's what I'm actually upholding here", the ACT leader told TV One's Q+A programme.

The idea that people would not vote for someone from another culture was "not true", he said.

"It's demonstrably not true because there are Maori in other parts, there are Chinese people that have won.

"I think it's rather a dark view of New Zealanders to suggest that we don't (see past that)."

The "hard part" was ensuring Maori and mana whenua rights were taken into account by local government, Mr Hide said.

"Well first of all I think the key thing is to recognise that you can't fix these things in law, because it is about relationship and about respect."

The Government and its support parties were "canvassing all the options".

Meanwhile, Mr Hide remained coy on whether ACT would support the Government's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

"I'd vote for anything that would improve it, but improving it to me would be suspending it.

"We've got an Emissions Trading Scheme in now, that's what Labour introduced, the energy sector is due to come in on January 1, we'd look to anything that would delay that and suspend it for some time."

Mr Hide said he was still "sceptical" that man-made climate change was happening.

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