1 March 2004 Media Statement
Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson says the government is continually looking for ways to improve the historical Treaty settlement process.
This is why the government has a strong preference for negotiating with large natural groupings of claimants.
Margaret Wilson is very positive about progress, in particular on the Central North Island claims, which involve Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Manawa and Ngati Whare.
Resolution of these claims will settle more than 160 Treaty claims lodged at the Waitangi Tribunal, she says.
"My best estimate is that within 10 to 15 years the vast majority of historical Treaty claims will be settled.
"It must always be remembered, however, that there are two parties to these negotiations.
"If the Crown acts in a way that forgets that, we have the experience of the previous National government's fiscal envelope proposal to remind us how one party cannot impose its will on the other."
Resolving grievances means Maori communities are able to focus on the future development of their people, benefiting the nation as a whole.