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NZ First seeks to steal Maori land

21 June 2005

NZ First seeks to steal Maori land

New Zealand First's policy of a ten-year time limit on Treaty settlements amounts to a massive land grab, Green Maori Affairs Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"The ten-year time limit is a hidden land grab that comes hard on the heels of NZ First's confiscation of the Foreshore and Seabed.

"Very few settlements will occur within ten years, leaving thousands of acres of Maori land wrongly taken that will not be returned. Rather, under NZ First's policy, this Maori land will stay with the Crown."

The time limit was also completely unrealistic, Mrs Turei says.

"NZ First wants to strip away any financial support for pursuing Treaty claims. Coupled with no change to the Government's direct negotiations policy, this is a recipe for no Treaty settlements being made within the next decade. In effect, NZ First is killing any prospect of justice for Maori claimants."

NZ First had joined National in trying to assimilate Maori, Mrs Turei says.

"Winston, like Don, wants Maori to be brown Pakeha. The Treaty policies of National and NZ First are largely indistinguishable and Winston's agenda is every bit as assimilationist as Don's."

"NZ First's Treaty policy sought to eradicate all things Maori from legislation and the public service.

"Winston is seeking to deny our bi-cultural history and make everyone the same. He seems to be saying that the Maori heritage of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders has no place in the formulation of public policy. That shows a horrifying disdain for the Maori constituency that originally catapulted NZ First into Parliament."

ENDS

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