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More resources needed for Waitangi Tribunal

Dr Wayne Mapp MP
National Party Constitutional Issues Spokesman
&
Hon Georgina Te Heuheu MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokeswoman

03 November 2003

More resources needed for Waitangi Tribunal

The ructions within the Waitangi Tribunal show just how important it is for New Zealand to move on and solve historic Treaty settlements, says National Party Constitutional and Treaty of Waitangi Issues spokesman Dr Wayne Mapp.

"The resolution of those historic grievances is essential to build a better New Zealand," says Dr Mapp.

"It's in the interests of claimants and all New Zealanders that these issues are resolved so the country can go forward with unity," he says.

The National Party is commenting on criticisms by Waitangi Tribunal member Dr Michael Bassett who says the Tribunal takes too long and wastes too much money investigating claims.

"The truism that justice delayed is justice denied is quite right in this case," says Dr Mapp.

The National Party's Associate spokeswoman on Treaty of Waitangi Issues, Georgina Te Heuheu agrees, and says more resources need to be channelled into the Waitangi Tribunal.

"The Tribunal should be sitting full-time and have a full-time chairman that doesn't juggle that role with other work," Mrs Te Heuheu says.

"The number of hearing days actually declined in the year to June, from 102 in 2002 to 77 this year.

"The National Party's policy is to resolve all outstanding historical Treaty claims within five years - rather than the ten year programme of the current administration.

"New Zealand must be allowed to start planning for a future founded on unity rather than division and uncertainty," says Mrs Te Heuheu.

Ends


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