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Barker Barks Up Wrong Tree-Ty

Barker Barks Up Wrong Tree-Ty

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party;

Thursday 23 March 2006

In the House today Minister of Veterans' Affairs, Rick Barker, displayed his ‘incredibly lamentable’ knowledge of the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi said co-leader of the Maori Party, Tariana Turia.

“It would appear that the Minister is only able to associate the Treaty with the theft of land and treaty compensation claims” stated Mrs Turia.

“Mr Barker has to appreciate that any relationship with Maori is a relationship with the Treaty partner” said Mrs Turia. “In today’s questions the relationship was with Viet Nam veterans, 60% of whom are Maori”.

“The response from Mr Barker obviously shows he does not believe that Maori Viet Nam veterans are tangata whenua”.

Mr Barker said there are two completely different processes of consultation - one which relates to the Treaty and is with tangata whenua; the other which relates to Viet Nam and is with veterans.

“Mr Barker is obviously extremely confused, given he also admitted he had signed a letter he didn’t read, thereby mis-informing the Facilitator, Vietnam Veterans Group Whanganui, Freda Moffitt ” said Mrs Turia.

Mr Barker mistakenly believes that there was universal agreement with the consultation process that the Crown has embarked on after discussions with the RSA.

“Where Mr Barker’s memory fails him is that groups of returned servicemen and women, including Viet Nam veterans in Sydney, Whanganui, Taranaki, Rotorua, Tauranga, and the survivors of the 28th Maori Battalion, have approached him, as well as the Maori Party, to voice their concerns about the consultation process".

“Indeed, Justice of the Peace, Clarence Pita Ormsby, on behalf of Maori and Pakeha veterans in Sydney, called the process a “cultural insult, disrespectful and a slap in the face for Maori Vietnam war veterans”.

ENDS

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