“Chris Hipkins and Labour are spending the last 48 hours running a desperate campaign of fear and misleading New Zealanders about ACT’s position on Māori and the Treaty,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“This morning, Hipkins said: ‘[David Seymour] effectively wants to erase Māori from legislation, he wants to pretend the Treaty never happened.’

“By enshrining the Treaty’s principles, properly understood, in our constitutional settings, ACT would promote the Treaty as it was actually signed, not the divisive version invented by judges and academics.

“Jacinda Ardern endorsed Chris Hipkins just yesterday – what would she make of his desperate, post-truth tactics?

“Every time Chris Hipkins tries to scare New Zealanders with another mistruth, he chip, chip, chips away at his credibility.

“But hope will beat fear. New Zealanders are too positive to buy into Labour’s campaign of fear.

“And today’s Curia poll shows New Zealanders support ACT’s referendum on the principles of the Treaty. 45 per cent agree, compared to 25 per cent opposed. 60 per cent agree with the wording of the referendum, compared to only 22 opposed.

“ACT has consistently said the Treaty is a taonga and that its principles provide the basis for a modern liberal democracy – the government is sovereign, its job is to protect property rights, and we all have equal rights and duties. ACT says those principles should be codified in legislation and New Zealanders should be allowed to vote on them, rather than allowing the courts to surreptitiously change our constitution.

“New Zealanders deserve an honest healthy debate on our future and our constitution – not Labour’s desperate disinformation. We have a right to debate whether our future lies with co-government and different rights based on ancestry, or whether we want to be a modern, multi-ethnic liberal democracy where every New Zealander has the same rights.

“Only a Party Vote for ACT will deliver real change and an end to co-government.”

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