"Last month I exposed the fact that the National Party was planning to remove a Treaty protection clause (Section 9) from the State Owned Enterprises Act so they could sell off four electricity companies" says Mana leader Hone Harawira.
"Two hours later (surprise surprise!) the Maori Party 'threatened' to resign from the coalition if the government went ahead with it. Then they called on Maori people to go to the consultation hui to oppose government's plans. And then yesterday the Maori Party called for iwi leaders to take the government to court to defend the Treaty."
Harawira said that the grim reality was that the National government was still planning to go ahead with plans to dump the Treaty clause, so the time had come for the Maori Party to either "front up or suck up."
"It's time to walk the talk" said Harawira. "The Maori Party can't send everyone out to fight while they sulk in their ministerial limos. They've got to front this".
"They've been talking tough in public, but behind closed doors they've been running around trying to get everyone else to do the dirty work."
Harawira said that it wasn't right that the Maori Party hung on to their ministerial perks while telling their people to take on the government alone.
"On matters of principle you have to take a stand" said Harawira. "I walked on a matter of principle - now it's their turn".
Harawira said that MANA had taken a clear position opposing the removal of the Treaty protection clause, that Maori people felt the same way, that the NZ Maori Council was taking legal action to protect the Treaty and that apparently even the iwi leaders had been persuaded to join the fight.
"I suspect the Maori Party will agree to a watered down version of the Treaty clause and then tell everyone that they've saved the Treaty, but if they do they will have sold the Treaty short, sold their people out, and opened the door for the sale of state assets that most New Zealanders oppose."
"It's their call" said Harawira. "It's time to walk the talk."
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