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Could Dick Turpin have been Ngati Awa?

Could Dick Turpin have been Ngati Awa?

The Government is giving the 'too hard' basket a thorough workout, according to the National Party Forestry Spokesman, Brian Connell.

His comments followed revelations that the Cabinet will sign the Ngati Awa Deed of Settlement this week, despite unresolved problems relating to access to the Kaingaroa Forests for other forestry companies.

Under the Deed of Settlement, access to Kaingaroa will be dependent on Ngati Awa permission and there will be absolutely no limits or guidelines on the fees they can charge.

Michael Stiassny, Receiver for the Central North Island Forestry Partnership, has been trying to negotiate a reasonable deal in good faith for months now but has been constantly put off.

"Suspicious minds," Mr Connell warned, 'might believe that Ngati Awa are refusing a pre-Settlement agreement so that they will have no restrictions on their ability to charge the earth before the ink is dry! I'm sure they wouldn't stoop to such deceit, but that is what the public will believe if this issue is not urgently resolved."

"It is poorly thought out and badly executed implementations of this kind that have destroyed the public credibility of the Treaty settlement process. Labour must stop shirking their duties and get involved. Only then can Ngati Awa and our Forestry sector both emerge with a deal from which the entire nation can benefit."

"If Ngati Awa want to be honest about this, they could at least have the decency to strap on masks and guns and start holding up travellers on the road, for that's what this is- Highway robbery, plain and simple!"

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