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United Future supports call for Treaty inquiry

For immediate release

Wednesday, 20 November 2002

United Future supports call for Treaty inquiry

United Future New Zealand leader, Peter Dunne, today announced that the Parliamentary caucus has decided to support the call by ACT MP, Stephen Franks, for Parliament's justice and electoral select committee to hold an inquiry into the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"With the increasing reference in legislation to those principles - for example, the local government reform bill now before Parliament - caucus believes it is essential that they be properly and clearly defined before the laws that rely on them are passed by Parliament," said Mr Dunne.

"Ill-defined law leads to conflict and confusion, such as we are now witnessing in the row over the conflict between the Maori desire to assert wähi tapu rights and the desire of private property owners to develop their land as they see fit.

"United Future has already warned that the lack of definition of what constitutes stress in the workplace safety legislation now before the House will lead to unfair burdens on employers," he said.

Mr Dunne said it was essential that all MP's ensure that the legislation they debated and passed is clear and based on well-defined principles.

Mr Franks's request for the select committee inquiry into the principles of the Treaty suggests a late February, 2003, deadline for submissions to be made to the committee.
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