“Te Pāti Māori's claim that a trespass incident was caused by ACT is a dangerous fiction, and the party shouldn’t be taken seriously by media until they produce evidence,” says ACT leader David Seymour.
“In a press release last night, Te Pāti Māori’s President said, "There should be no doubt now in anyone's mind that National and ACT's race baiting has empowered and emboldened a dangerous type of human being who is hell bent on silencing Māori by targeting who they think is our most vulnerable".
“There is zero evidence to support this claim.
“ACT condemns any acts of abuse or violence on the campaign trail, but trying to stir up political division by baselessly accusing other party leaders of responsibility only makes things worse.
“Te Pāti Māori refuse to comment further because there’s a Police investigation, but they still politicise it. This both excuses political violence by saying it's caused by someone else, and risks justifying violence in retaliation.
“Te Pāti Māori and their allies have accused ACT of ‘race-baiting’ over and over again, but can never provide an example.
“I asked Rawiri Waititi on the AM Show last year to give some examples for his claims of race-baiting, all he could say was ‘Oh, look, I'm not going to get into the nitty… of that, David - you can work that out’. Yesterday, supposed Māori leader Dame Naida Glavish admitted she hadn’t even read ACT’s policies but apparently she can claim we’re race-baiting because of ‘the shape of his mouth’. Similarly, Chloe Swarbrick couldn’t give any examples of alleged racism by ACT when challenged live on the AM show last Monday.
“New Zealanders are sick and tired of being accused of racism for wanting equal rights for all New Zealanders.
“ACT believes in a New Zealand where everyone has the same rights and duties, just like the Treaty says. We believe public services should be delivered based on need, not race or culture and we believe in universal human rights.”