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Labour’s Treaty limit unworkable, says academic

4 August 2005

Labour’s Treaty limit unworkable, says AUT academic

Labour’s plans for a deadline of 2008 for the filing of historical land claims with the Waitangi Tribunal is simply unworkable, says AUT Maori Studies lecturer and Treaty of Waitangi specialist Dr Paul Moon.

He says in the past 15 years, there have been a number of deadlines set by various governments, but all of these have been breached.

“The problem is these deadlines seem to be set for political purposes, and ignore the actual number of potential claims yet to be lodged with the Tribunal,” Dr Moon says.

While he concedes that the majority of historical claims have already been lodged, he says the deadline Labour is proposing will not affect other types of claims, and will eventually end up simply shifting the emphasis of the Tribunal.

“If such deadlines are imposed, it will not in any way signal the demise of the Tribunal,” says Dr Moon. “Instead, it will cause some groups to shift their focus to other areas of Treaty breaches, which so far have tended to take a back seat to the historical claims.”


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