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New Zealand First Announces New Treaty Policy

29 September 2004

New Zealand First Announces New Treaty Policy


Winston Peters announces NZ First's treaty policy to assembled media

New Zealand First today announced a new Treaty of Waitangi policy aimed at ending the grievance industry but safeguarding genuine claims.

The policy removes Treaty “principles” from all legislation and disbands the existing Waitangi Tribunal, replacing it with a Waitangi Commission charged with the responsibility of establishing the true facts of land alienation.

Rt Hon Winston Peters said the Treaty was an historical document about citizenship that was meant to bind New Zealanders under one rule of law but it had become a source of division that threatened to generate racial strife for generations to come.

“Most New Zealanders accept there is a need to address cases relating to Maori property rights and these rights were guaranteed to all citizens by the Treaty.

“However, the Treaty is not about forcing an artificial Maori culture down the throats of all New Zealanders. It is not about separatism, cultural safety, mysticism or the pervasive new ethos that infects central and local government and threatens the very foundations of our democracy.

“The problem has been created by successive Labour and National governments inserting Treaty of Waitangi ‘principles’ in legislation since 1986 without ever defining what these principles mean.

“Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been poured into the coffers of Treaty travelers because of these ‘principles’ while the needs of ordinary Maori are ignored.

“The Waitangi Tribunal is perpetuating the problem by mixing spirituality, mysticism, psycho-babble and political correctness with land claims.

“Maori are actually disadvantaged by this nonsense because it belittles their cause, however just, and alienates other New Zealanders.

“The Tribunal is no longer relevant and will be disbanded after the next election. In its enabling legislation the Tribunal was set up as a commission of inquiry – a function that it ceased to fulfill a long time ago.

“It will be replaced with a Waitangi Commission that refocuses on the original intent of establishing the factual basis of claims and making recommendations for expeditious settlements of historical claims. These must be lodged within five years.”

Mr Peters said the only way forward for Maori, as for all New Zealanders, was through improved education, good housing, adequate healthcare and employment with first world wages. Political correctness was no substitute for real progress.

“New Zealanders are sick and tired of ill defined Treaty ‘principles’ creeping into every facet of their lives and the vast majority of Maori have seen no benefit from the grievance industry.

“They do not want roads held up by taniwha, they do not want medical research policed by kaumätua, unelected Maori appointed to local government and the thousand other examples of cultural claptrap in our community.

“New Zealanders have to make a choice of ending the Treaty grievance industry and uniting as one nation or continuing down the present path of Maori separatism.

“This policy will forge a better future for everyone. It will be a cornerstone of our election campaign and inevitably a basis for forming a new government next year,” said Mr Peters.

(Full policy on www.nzfirst.org.nz)

ENDS

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