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Ed Sheeran

National fails hypocrisy test in Ecan vote

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Labour MP Peeni Henare is blaming National rather than New Zealand First for the failure of a move to appoint Ngāi Tahu representatives to Environment Canterbury.

The Government coalition partner joined National in voting down the provision, which was part of a bill to restore representative democracy to the Canterbury Regional Council.

Mr Henare says he’s disappointed for Ngāi Tahu and for his colleague Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene, who spoke of how effective the appointed Ngāi Tahu representatives had been over the past eight years.

But that got swept aside when National voted against continuing the iwi appointments they created after sacking the elected council in 2010.

"Some of the arguments that were being put forward by the National Party were 'it's got to be a full democracy,' and 'if they're good enough they will make it there on their own merits,' yet this is the same party that crow about how many Treaty of Waitangi settlements they pushed through and how pro-Māori they were," Mr Henare says.

He’s also disappointed New Zealand First looked at the politics rather than the opportunities created by securing iwi representation.

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