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Dealing with Treaty issues crucial for growth

Don Brash MP National Party Leader
06 May 2006

Dealing with Treaty issues crucial for growth

National Party Leader Don Brash has told delegates at the Party’s Canterbury/Westland Regional Conference that accelerating historical Treaty grievances is “vitally important” for all New Zealanders.

“If some people believe that their circumstances can be blamed on what somebody else did to them or their ancestors decades or even centuries ago, the risk is that they become frozen into a victim mindset, blaming “the government” for their problems, unwilling or unable to help themselves. They begin to see their economic salvation as coming from some future compensation from government.

But, as Rob McLeod has argued, if the total of $1 billion originally earmarked for compensation were to be spread evenly across half a million Maori New Zealanders, they would get only $2,000 each - invested at, say, 6%, just enough to provide an income of $120 a year, before tax. That simply isn’t going to make a material contribution to raising the living standards of Maori New Zealanders.

“This isn’t an argument for increasing the size of the compensation, as some have suggested. It’s an argument for getting on with the process, so that the victim mentality, the illusion that living standards depend on the size of a government compensation payment, can be put behind those who currently see the world this way.

“It’s vitally important that we get to a point where the Treaty grievances are behind us, so we can all turn our attention to making our modern boat go faster, towards a more prosperous future.
“That’s why the National Party is so focused on ensuring one law for all New Zealanders. That’s why we want to abolish separate electoral seats based on race.

“If New Zealand is to succeed in the future, if we are to ensure our prosperity, and our ability to compete in a world marketplace for the best and brightest, the doctors and the nurses, the police and the teachers, the engineers and the builders, then we must demonstrate that all New Zealanders are treated equally under the law, and that everyone gets an opportunity to get ahead and succeed in this country, regardless of their ethnicity and regardless of when their ancestors arrived.”

Ends

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