February 04, 2020
Bridges turns Waitangi into stump speech
National Party leader Simon Bridges has used his time on the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi for a full-on election year speech.
He said he was proud of National’s record on treaty settlements, whānau ora, charter schools and Māori land law reform.
He also criticised the Government’s transport plans, saying the north needed the four-lane highway from Auckland to Whangarei he had started work on as transport minister.
In response, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters jumped up to slam his politicisation of the welcome.
He said on the basis of National’s plans, the road to Whangarei would have taken 68 years.
Mr Peters said when people go to the polls in eight months, they should buy themselves some insurance – a reference to the role New Zealand First is pitching for itself in the coalition.
Greens co-leader James Shaw also said he did not want to debase the place or the occasion with pretty partisan politics, but he said the Greens in Government have taken every opportunity to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in practice, not just in word.
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