12 Mar 2011

ACT says too much preferential treatment for Maori

7:32 pm on 12 March 2011

ACT Party leader Rodney Hide says Maori get too much preferential treatment and he has criticised the National Party for what he calls separatist and racist policies.

About 100 party faithful gathered in Auckland for ACT's annual conference on the weekend.

Mr Hide told media ACT is concerned by policies such as the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, the secret signing of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights and the establishment of the Maori Statutory Board on the Auckland Council.

He says ACT, one of the Government's support partners, believes every citizen should be equal.

Mr Hide says National supporters are disenfranchised by its race-based policies because the party campaigned for three elections on one law for all.

ACT accused of racist politics

Maori broadcaster, Willie Jackson, says the ACT Party has engaged in racist politics to the detriment of New Zealand.

Mr Jackson has been a guest speaker at ACT's annual conference.

He says ACT's policy of one law for all denies that Maori should have a special place in New Zealand law, which they were promised under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Jackson says many politicians have played the race card over the years including New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, former National Party leader, Don Brash, ACT founder, Sir Roger Douglas and ACT leader, Rodney Hide.

He says ACT has honed in on the ignorance and the worst instincts of New Zealanders.

But Mr Hide denies ACT is turning to populist politics by raising concerns about race-based politics.