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Smith: Brash gaffe shows need for UF

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Smith: Brash gaffe shows need for UF

Don Brash's "uneducated gaffe" about the number of historical treaty settlements still to be completed shows a disturbing ignorance of the process for resolving historical treaty grievances that is in itself dangerous for New Zealand's race relationships, United Future's Treaty spokesman Murray Smith said today.

In his speech on National's Treaty policy yesterday he stated that there had been 19 settlements, there were 25 in the pipeline and there were 1200 settlements to be completed. And that at the current rate of progress that would take 100 years.

"However, while there were 1200 claims with the Waitangi Tribunal, Mr Smith said, each settlement resolved a significant number of them and estimates put the required number of settlements at about 50.

"Dr Brash simply doesn't know the basics and he owes Kiwis that much if he's going to plough into such an important issue in terms of our national dealings," Mr Smith said.

"On the basis of Dr Brash's own figures there are only five to 10 settlement negotiations yet to be started and that justifies United Future's policy of setting a two-year deadline on lodging claims and providing the resources to complete them by 2010," Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said National's stance was further evidence of the importance of having United Future as part of any future National government to restrain this extreme anti-Maori attitude.

ENDS


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