Campaign takes aim at Treaty

SIMON DAY
Last updated 09:55 05/02/2013
JOHN ANSELL
KEVIN STENT
JOHN ANSELL: Said he felt obliged to be present at Waitangi, but did not expect a warm welcome.

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Former National party ad man John Ansell will officially launch his Treatygate movement at Waitangi today.

"Treatygate, my campaign, is about exposing the false meanings and exaggerated breachings of the Treaty," Ansell said.

"It starts today."

Standing on this issue, Ansell said he felt obliged to be present at Waitangi, but did not expect a warm welcome.

"Despite the risks, I thought if I don't come to Waitangi then I am letting myself down," he said.

In a speech he plans to deliver at the Treaty grounds, Ansell said he will challenge John Key to start running a "racially equal" country, that would remove things like the Maori electoral roll and Maori university quotas.

"I will be saying to Mr Key that we need to run our country as one, not two."

Questioned on the racial inequality of prison statistics that see disproportionate numbers of Maori incarcerated, and health figures that show Maori suffer from greater rates of obesity and diabetes, Ansell said current solutions were not working.

"I say all the money hasn't worked. And there is no end in sight."

The final shape of the campaign was yet to be decided, but could take the form of a referendum or involve running for Parliament as a "single issue party."

However, Ansell was not enthusiastic about entering the world of politics.

"I'm not a politician, I'm an ad man."

Ansell worked on the National party's 2005 election campaign, producing the divisive and award winning 'Iwi/Kiwi' billboards. However, he ruled out working with the Government in its present form.

Ansell planned to use Waitangi to test whether his campaign would gather the support it needed.

"Hopefully this will build from today to an unstoppable avalanche."

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