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Spending must be matched by swifter resolution

Georgina te Heuheu National Treaty Spokesperson

29 October 2002

Significant spending must be matched by swifter Treaty resolution

It has been a fair expectation for both Maori and the public that significant expenditure would result in more timely Treaty settlements, says National Treaty and Maori Affairs Spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu, responding to a report on legal costs of the Treaty process.

"The framework for resolving Treaty injustices was developed in the 1990s by the National Government. Under that, three major settlements were concluded together with a number of other important but smaller settlements, and many were already in negotiations.

"That framework has proven its worth by the fact that it remains largely intact since Labour came to power. The difference is the rate of progress.

"National has been calling for more speedy resolution for three years. It is not an unfair expectation that significant expenditure be matched by more timely settlements. Our experience in these matters tells us that more speed is possible without jeopardising durability.

"National understands better than most this is a serious process, involving highly legal and technical matters, and that it comes with a cost.

"Where the transfer of public assets as reparation for historic injustice is involved, it is in the public interest to ensure there is a power basis for that reparation.

"Similarly for Maori and for whom the notion of equality of citizenship remains a myth in the face of unresolved injustice. They too seek the assurance of having on record a sound proven basis for their settlements.

"So it is in everyone's interest that the process move faster than it has in the term of this Government," Mrs te Heuheu said.


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