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Labour's Treaty deadline is nonsense

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

22 June 2005

Labour's Treaty deadline is nonsense

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says no one should be conned by Labour's double speak on Treaty deadlines.

"Helen Clark knows that a cut-off date for lodging claims is meaningless when she still bluntly refuses to put a date on when the claims will be settled.

"She is doing a disservice to Maori and non-Maori. She's refusing to give Maori certainty over when claims will be settled, and she's confirming to non-Maori that Labour is not really committed to ever settling claims.

"And there's clear evidence of that. For instance, Michael Cullen describes the Treaty as 'a living document where new applications or implications may arise as circumstances change'.

"This is not the language of a party committed to treating New Zealanders on the basis of their need rather than on the basis of their race.

"Labour and New Zealand First have a lot to answer for. They have created a whole new grievance industry after conspiring to fiddle the legislation over the foreshore and seabed.

"Six new judges are being appointed to the Maori Land Court to deal with claims under this flawed law and Labour has plans to extend legal aid to Maori claimants after the election.

"These are not the actions of parties that want to speed up and bring the Treaty settlement process to an end.

"National's policy is that all claims should be lodged by the end of 2006, with full, final and fair settlement by 2010.


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