Act Party leader Don Brash has again put forth a "one law for all" message in a speech in Tauranga, despite copping criticism last time he expressed similar views.

In a speech remarkably similar to one he gave two months ago, also in Tauranga, Mr Brash said Act "remains committed to equality before the law for all New Zealanders".

The speech slammed Maori-specific representation in politics, including Maori advisory boards, committees and electorates.

"Requiring local government to consult with their communities and with iwi can only mean that iwi are somehow not part of the community. And I would have thought that any self-respecting Maori would find that highly offensive," said Mr Brash.

Advertisement

He said these kinds of policies mean that Maori essentially have two votes.

"And too often that Maori world view is not based on science but on the animist views of early Maori, not shared by the great majority of Maori in New Zealand today and not shared by any of the rest of us."

He cited delays to Port of Tauranga's plans to deepen the port and the refusal of local iwi to allow the clearing of a channel for safe drainage of Mt Ruapehu's crater lake as examples of Maori having "the power of veto" over decisions.

The Treaty of Waitangi supports the view that all New Zealanders should be treated equally under the law, said Mr Brash.

"Apart from anything else, it avoids the whole debate about who is and who is not entitled to be called 'Maori', and to enjoy the legal privileges currently associated with being Maori."

He stressed that he did not believe "special legal status" given to Maori makes them better off economically, and said Maori are not served well under current legislation.

After his speech in September, which made many of the same points, Bay of Plenty Maori accused Mr Brash of holding a monocultural view of the future and Green Party bloggers said ACT's "one law for all" privileged straight, elderly, wealthy, white men.

- HERALD ONLINE

Advertisement