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Treaty funding boost to rip off Maori

8 May 2006

Treaty funding boost to rip off Maori

The extra funding set aside in Budget 2006 for the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) will only enable more iwi and hapu to be bullied to accept unfair settlements, the Green Party says.

"What is really needed is a funding sufficient to allow claimants to get their research compiled properly," Green Party Treaty Settlements spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"Maori need more resources to do the historical work essential to ensure that a Treaty claim is full and fair, and not one bound to generate further resentment."

"However, the extra Budget money is really being set aside to give OTS more staff and resources to meet the 2008 deadline for Maori to lodge their claims, even though OTS themselves have only a target of 2020 to progress those claims.

"The money will be used to cajole and bully iwi and hapu into rushing to meet this arbitrary 2008 deadline.Yet there is no extra money to ensure the claim includes all of the relevant information. Which means that settlements will not be complete, and Maori will miss out on full restitution," Ms Turei says.

"The Government election pledge to have a deadline at all for Treaty claims was a response to the bigotry being promoted by National, and other political parties. Once again, Maori are being denied a proper voice in the matter of restitution for the wrongs committed against them."

ENDS

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