“Bill English and Tony Ryall are liars” said MANA leader Hone Harawira” when they say that ‘the preference was clearly expressed’ at the consultation hui for ‘a provision reflecting the concepts of the existing section 9 of the SOEs Act’.
“Maori said nothing of the sort”
“Let there be no doubt about Maori opinion on the sale of state assets – 95% want to keep Section 9, and the rest want it to be made stronger”
Section 9 is the clause in the State Owned Enterprises (SOE) Act which protects Maori interests under the Treaty of Waitangi.
Harawira said that he had attended three of the hui and hadn’t heard one person come out in support of the sale, “not even to iwi interests”.
“And neither did they say they wanted ‘a provision reflecting the concepts’. What they said they wanted was Sec 9”
“In fact, Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau was very, very clear in his statement in Whangarei” said Harawira. “He insisted that S9 stay in the Act and that if the assets were taken out of the Act, S9 had to go with them”
Harawira also said that he was “disappointed but not surprised” to hear the Maori Party come out in support of the government’s position.
“They didn’t even come to any of the hui!” said Harawira. “I went Rotorua and Te Ururoa Flavell wasn’t there. I went to Tamaki and Sharples wasn’t there. And Tariana didn’t go to the Whanganui hui either”
“They talked tough but they didn’t front” said Harawira “Their game plan was to get their people to fight while they hid”
“But now it’s walk-the-talk time. The Maori Party said they want S9 ‘in its entirety’ to stay with the assets. When that doesn’t happen, they’ve got to walk or they will forever be known as big talkers but slow walkers.
Harawira also congratulated MANA members from all round the country for turning out to protest against the privatisation of state assets.
“Everybody talked up their opposition but only MANA fronted at every hui to oppose the sales and that’s been bloody great for the movement” said Harawira.