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Ngati Awa Bill Flawed

17 March 2005

Ngati Awa Bill Flawed

New Zealand First has warned that the Ngati Awa Claims Settlement Bill contains references to Treaty of Waitangi principles and sets a disturbing precedence of creating hapu by legislation.

Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone said the party supported the intention of the bill, which was the culmination of a long and arduous process by the people of the iwi towards a satisfactory claims settlement.

“The problem is that the inclusion of references to the so-called Treaty principles that cannot be defined by law could create a situation of legal confusion in the future.

“The second problem is that the creation of hapu is not the responsibility of Parliament, nor should it be. Further, it is a departure from the traditional concept of what establishes a hapu, which is through the recognition of common ancestry of whanau groups.

“New Zealand First is concerned that the inclusion of these two sections does not give any assurance of the durability of this settlement. The government’s insistence on the inclusion of these sections has failed the settlement process,” said Mr Paraone.


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