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Stop Playing Politics Says New Zealand First

Media Release
27 October 2004

Stop Playing Politics Says New Zealand First

New Zealand First is appalled at the audacity of Judge Joe Williams commenting on the size of Treaty settlements, and is repeating the call to have him removed as chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal.

“The Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court should not be the chair of the Waitangi Tribunal. There is a clear and present conflict of interest,” said New Zealand First Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

“This is political grandstanding by Judge Williams, and clearly clouds his role as chairman of the Tribunal. He knows full well that the role of the Treaty settlements is to resolve historical grievances, not redress economic disparity.

“The Chairman of the Tribunal, which New Zealand First advocates should become a Commission of Inquiry, should be a neutral arbitrator of relevant facts to a particular claim, not an advocate for Maori claimants for more money.

“The economic and social disparity of Maori is best addressed by ensuring that both Maori and non-Maori have good jobs, access to high quality health, education and other social services and decent housing – not by Treaty politics.

“This latest outburst by Judge Williams is a clear example of why our recently released policy must be implemented to stop this tirade of politically correct treatyology from spreading,” said Mr Paraone.


ENDS

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