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Dunne: Waitangi Tribunal out of line

Dunne: Waitangi Tribunal out of line

The Waitangi Tribunal has moved away from its mandate of righting historical wrongs and into "judicial activism", United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

He was commenting on the tribunal recommendation that Taranaki's Ngati Ruahine tribe get millions of dollars in royalties earned by the Crown from oil-rich land taken from them up until 1937.

"The fact is that Maori and settler alike were and are subject to Crown ownership of mineral rights. It is not a Maori issue, it is not a Pakeha issue, and the tribunal has been quite unwise in its findings," Mr Dunne said.

"It is clearly moving from righting past wrongs into the area of social equity - and that is not what it was created to do.

"And that direction will ultimately be self-defeating, as such findings run a very real danger of turning off mainstream New Zealand.

"The average New Zealander is ready and willing to correct past wrongs, but they are not prepared to except extremist judgments," he said.

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