ACT Welcomes National U-Turn On Treaty
Friday 11 Jan 2002
ACT Finance Spokesman MP Rodney Hide today welcomed the National Party's statement of support for his private member's Bill to end the Treaty of Waitangi grievance industry.
National MP Murray McCully issued a press release yesterday stating that the government should settle a target of four to five years to settle all Treaty of Waitangi claims.
"That's exactly what my Treaty of Waitangi (Final Settlement of Claims) Bill does. It's not quite as tough as Mr McCully would like. My Bill would mean no new claims after this year, all claims would have to be heard in five years, all claims would have to be settled in ten years and all racist legislation and policies in New Zealand abolished.
"National had previously opposed this Bill in 1998. Back then Doug Graham on behalf of the National party declared time limits on Treaty claims to be ludicrous. It's heartening to see that National now supports time limits so that the country can settle the claims fairly, fully and finally, and end the grievance industry once and for all.
"My private member's bill has been drawn from the ballot and is due for debate when Parliament resumes.
"As National has finally realised, the only people who benefit from drawn-out claims are the lawyers and consultants who gorge on the profits of the grievance industry.
"It is time to shift the focus from past grievances to planning for the future and tackling disadvantage, regardless of the race of those who are suffering. I am glad that the National Party which once derided time limits as `ludicrous', is now embracing ACT policy.
"I look forward to the support of Mr McCully and his colleagues in Parliament, voting for my private member's Bill," Mr Hide said.