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Don't Settle Until Iwi Have 'Clean Hands'

Don't Settle Until Iwi Have 'Clean Hands'

The Waitangi Tribunal finding, that Wellington iwi deserve more compensation for unfair early land deals, should get a thorough review from impartial historians, ACT New Zealand Treaty Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"A stage must be reached where reports have to be suspect, simply because they show no moral balance," Mr Franks said.

"By 1840, Wellington was largely populated by iwi who had robbed, murdered and enslaved everyone who had crossed their path from Waikato over three decades. They were allies of Te Rauparaha, who was proud of his treachery - if ever the term `holocaust' was applicable in New Zealand, it was through what Te Rauparaha and his allies wrought. Several murderous iwi enjoyed their sport so much that they hired a ship, planning to invade Samoa. Instead, they got as far as the desperately unlucky Chatham Islands.

"More than a year ago, I wrote to the Minister in Charge of Treaty Settlements, Margaret Wilson. I suggested she ensure that iwi, who had ruthlessly oppressed Moriori, receive no consideration from the Crown until they apologised and showed remorse to Moriori descendants - Ms Wilson thought this irrelevant.

"If we are to pour millions of dollars into claims based on sentiments of historical guilt, then the least the Crown should do is ensure that parties responsible for far worse conduct - and likely to cost the Crown payments to their victims - show that they apply the same standard to themselves as they expect from the Crown.

"We have every reason to be cautious about accepting this report. Even a Tribunal member has warned of the lack of respect for context among Tribunal historians. From today's announcement, it seems that history may have been recast in terms of current ideology - not with the balance required for fairness. I look forward to reading it in detail," Mr Franks said.

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