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Labour rejected chance to speed up Treaty process

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

05 August 2005

Labour rejected chance to speed up Treaty process

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Labour's Treaty deadlines are a cynical election-year sham.

"Today, Parekura Horomia is promising more money to get the process completed, yet the Government refused the Waitangi Tribunal extra funding to do just that in last year's Budget.

"Even in the '05 Budget, the increase isn't big enough to keep pace with the Government's so-called settlement targets."

Mr Brownlee has released papers showing that in 2004 the Waitangi Tribunal sought an extra $2,787,000 which they didn't get. In the same bid, the Tribunal argued for an extra $2.7 million this year. This year they have been allocated an increase of only $659,000.

"Over the past two years, Labour has refused extra funding worth $4,823,000. Clearly Labour has no intention of speeding up the settlement process.

"The Waitangi Tribunal warned Labour last year there would be serious delays. Labour let that situation continue. "These papers show just how rushed Labour's policy is, and how hollow the promises are," says Mr Brownlee.

"National has made it very clear that we will speed up this process. We have a policy for all claims to be lodged by the end of 2006, and settled by 2010.

"We're determined to bring the Treaty claims process to a full, final and fair conclusion. Labour is promising more of the same slow progress," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS


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