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National says Maori who need help should get it

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

27 October 2004

National says Maori who need help should get it

"Maori who need Government help should get it, not because they are Maori but because they need it," says National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

He's responding to claims from the chief judge of the Maori Land Court, Joe Williams, who says Treaty of Waitangi settlements need to be five times the size they are now if they are to address Maori poverty.

"I categorically reject those comments," says Mr Brownlee.

"Judge Williams is perpetuating the myth that Treaty settlements have something to do with correcting Maori poverty. The reality is that they are compensation for historic injustices.

"The judge's comments will only serve to further fuel unrealistic expectations, and the Government should send a clear message that it will not tolerate ongoing judicial activism of this kind.

"National says the health, welfare and education of all New Zealand citizens should be provided by the Government on the basis of need, not because they are Maori.

"For New Zealand to move ahead we need to move more quickly to settle outstanding historic Treaty claims once and for all.

"The future success of Maori does not depend on the size of today's historic settlements, but on the opportunities afforded to all New Zealanders through an open, competitive, productive, high-wage economy," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS


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