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Waitangi Tribunal funding boost

16 June 2002 Media Statement

Waitangi Tribunal funding boost


Extra funding for the Waitangi Tribunal will see inquiries covering historical claims completed by 2010, four years earlier than expected, Courts Minister Matt Robson said today.

The Waitangi Tribunal will receive additional funding of $0.5 million per annum for 2002-03 and 2003-04 to support the transition to a new, faster inquiry process, and an additional $0.3 million for 2004-05 and $0.2 million for out-years to provide improved administrative support and research capability.

“Trials of the new case management based inquiry process have proven the new approach to be effective in reducing the time taken for inquiries. Under the new approach, all parties know exactly what is required of them and when. Mandate and representation issues are identified and resolved early, and resources are better targeted, says Matt Robson.

“In the Gisborne inquiry, basis of claim matters were established early on in the process allowing for earlier engagement by the Crown in providing a Statement of Response. More timely movement to negotiation and settlement of claims as a result of earlier reporting by the Tribunal will benefit the community at large and Maori in particular.

“It is estimated that under the old inquiry process, historical claims would have taken until 2014 to complete. Under the new approach, they will be completed by 2010.

“The Government is committed to achieving the fair and durable settlement of well-founded historical claims in a timely manner. The extra funding will make this a reality much sooner, says Matt Robson.

This builds on the initiatives to streamline the settlement process announced by Treaty Settlements Minister Margaret Wilson in February.

ENDS

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