2 Feb 2012

PM playing into protestors' hands - Paraone

6:45 am on 2 February 2012

Waitangi Day organiser Pita Paraone says the Prime Minister's comments about the Treaty of Waitangi clause in the State Owned Enterprises Act are a gift to protestors.

In order to partly privatise some assets, the government is considering removing Section 9 - which obliges it to act in accordance with the principles of the Treaty.

Prime Minister John Key, has said the clause is largely symbolic and the Government has not been able to find a single instance when it has been used.

But Mr Paraone says Section 9 enshrines the Treaty partnership in law and the Prime Minister is seriously underestimating its significance for Maori.

Mr Paraone says Mr Key's comments are likely to inflame feelings at Waitangi.