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Treaty Minister Prematurely Pats Herself On Back

5 February 2002

Treaty Minister Prematurely Pats Herself On The Back

Minister for Treaty Negotiations Margaret Wilson is a bit premature in patting herself on the back when the hard work was done by others, National Spokesperson for Treaty Issues Georgina te Heuheu said today.

"Margaret Wilson has for some time been under pressure to make progress on Treaty Issues. It's a bit rich for her to trumpet the recent signings as her successes when these are the result of the hard work of others.

"It is simply not credible for the Minister to claim that this Government had made more progress in 12 months than had been made previously.

Mrs te Heuheu was at the formal ceremony at the weekend to mark the signing and acceptance of the Ngati Tama deed of settlement at the Pukearuhe Marae in Taranaki.

"I commented at the time that any progress in these settlements was good. But was astounded by the Minister's claim that this was all her work.

"So far, only one settlement act (Pouakani Settlement Act) has passed through the House, and while another settlement bill was introduced late last year (Te Uri O Hau). Both of these settlements had been substantially completed by the National Government.

"The same applies to a number of other negotiations referred to by the Minister (Nga Rauru and Te Atiawa), all of which were initiated by Sir Douglas Graham.

Mrs te Heuheu says that as the nation celebrates Waitangi Day tomorrow the Minister should reflect on her own lack of action on treaty settlements, rather than giving herself another self-congratulatory message.

"It is important that we as a nation are able to settle these claims so we can move on together. If the Minister needs help she should only ask, as the National Party has a proven track record of making real progress on these issues and we are only to willing to help," Mrs te Heuheu said.


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