February 11, 2015
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the debate over Maori sovereignty is a distraction from the real things Maori need.
Labour leader Andrew Little called at Waitangi for a discussion on how sovereignty can be expressed in light of the Waitangi Tribunal finding that northern chiefs did not give it up by signing the treaty.
Prime Minister John Key said that sort of talk was advocating separatism.
"In my view they are both demonstrably wrong because what Maori want, and this is the Maori I meet in great numbers, is fair economic and social treatment. A decent house, decent job, decent first world wages, a proper education system for their children that gives them a chance to go forward and a decent health system. Those are the fundamental things we are being detoured from in this obsession with separatism," Mr Peters says.
Mr Peters says the path to sovereignty is through the ballot box on the general franchise, not through special seats for Maori.
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