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Budget ensures Treaty Settlements take forever

Georgina te Heuheu National Maori Affairs Spokesperson

24 May 2002

Budget ensures Treaty Settlements take forever

Labour's pitiful approach to Treaty Settlements means that settlements will take forever, says National Maori Affairs Spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu.

"The miserly injection of funding for the Waitangi Tribunal in the Budget shows how little this Government cares about settling claims," Mrs te Heuheu said. "They clearly have no idea of the Tribunal's role in resolving injustice so that New Zealanders can move on.

"What this means is that the Waitangi Tribunal will have to cut back its hearing schedule again, just as it did last year. This is not fair on claimants. It causes a lack of cohesion and costly delays.

"As for the Office of Treaty Settlements, the Budget provides for more bureaucratic build up, but little else. That is why National's Treaty Policy provides for the dis-establishment of that office, and places responsibility in a Chief Negotiator with a broad mandate to negotiate settlements directly and urgently with claimants.

"The Government's arrogant approach will prompt new claims from Maori, and that will be a disaster," Mrs te Heuheu predicted.

Ends




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