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Maori need more clarity from Government

Maori need more clarity from Government

The National Party is welcoming the Government's latest apology to Maori, and pleased that Margaret Wilson has finished off the hard work started by Sir Douglas Graham.

Sir Douglas secured a signing of the heads of agreement in September 1999.

"At the time, Working Party chairman, Pat Heremaia paid tribute to Sir Douglas as somebody who had followed the prophet Te Whiti's negotiation principles of houati homai - give and take," says National Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu.

"But the reality is that the current Government has made little progress on Treaty settlements since, but it has created more confusion," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"It is now unclear how long it is going to take to settle historic claims, last year the Office of Treaty Settlements said it would take about 20 years, recently Margaret Wilson said 10 it would take years.

"The confusion extends to other policy areas as well, including the 'principles' of the Treaty, which are now referred to in a number of laws.

"The Government can't tell us what it believes the 'principles' are, but in the next gasp it announces an 'information' campaign because the rest of New Zealand doesn't understand.

"The sad fact is that Maori are struggling to understand the direction of the Labour Government.

"Today's apology goes no way towards clearing that up," Mrs te Heuheu says.

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