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Wayne Mapp caught napping

11 June 2004 Media Statement

Wayne Mapp caught napping

Labour has an impressive record of achievement in the Treaty settlements area, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson.

National MP Wayne Mapp’s statements to the contrary are full of inaccuracies and half-truths, she said.

“He is quite wrong in saying this government has only settled four claims. In fact this government has signed deeds of settlement with six groups – Te Uri o Hau, Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Tama, Ngati Awa, Ngati Tuwharetoa (ki Kawerau) and Ngaa Rauru. These settlements add up to about $150 million.”

Margaret Wilson said last year three Deeds of Settlement were signed – more settlements reached in one year than ever before.

“We have also been responsible for getting settlement legislation for Ngati Tama, Ngati Ruanui and Te Uri o Hau through Parliament despite Wayne Mapp and his Party’s delay tactics.”

Over half of the figure Wayne Mapp quotes for Vote Treaty Negotiations is not related to the operations of the Office of Treaty Settlements, Margaret Wilson said. It covers interest paid to claimant groups from the time a deed of settlement is signed to when settlement legislation is passed.

“Wayne Mapp seems to forget the settlement process involves two parties – Maori and the Crown. While it is important to settle historical grievances as quickly as possible, this can only be done by working with the claimants in the context, and at the pace, they are equally happy with.

“The resolution of mandates and cross claim issues is difficult, but it has been this government’s experience that working through these issues thoroughly pays dividends by ensuring durable settlements.

“The previous National government did not seem to understand this which is why we inherited a legacy of partial agreements with all the hard work still to be done.

Margaret Wilson said other than the Tainui and Ngai Tahu settlements, most of the settlements agreed by the previous National government were non-comprehensive settlements with small groups and did not have settlement legislation.

“We are currently in discussions with more groups than ever before. My best estimate is that within 10 to 15 years the vast majority of historical Treaty claims will be settled.”

“National’s policy of forcing Maori to settle claims is foolish because those settlements will not last,” Margaret Wilson said.

ENDS

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