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Labour exposed on Treaty promise

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

28 May 2006

Labour exposed on Treaty promise

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says an analysis of the Budget numbers for Treaty negotiations exposes Labour’s ‘go-slow agenda’ on settling historic claims.

“They claimed to be ramping up the effort to get Treaty settlements sorted. They’re doing anything but.”

Mr Brownlee says Vote Treaty Negotiations received $27,575,000 in 2005/06 and will receive $28,003,000 in 06/07. But with inflation running at around 3.3%, the Budget would need to be $28,485,000 just to keep pace with inflation.

“In real terms, that’s a cut of around $482,000. National agrees there’s massive waste in the system, but the Government has tried to sell this as a funding increase when it is not.”

Mr Brownlee says one of the scarce new initiatives in the Budget was $5.2 million spread over four years to increase capacity to meet Labour’s distant 2020 settlement target.

“The rub on this one is that $1.172m will be spent on policy advice in 2006-07 and a further $1.725m of the $5.2m will be spent on policy advice the following year.

“What Labour deliberately hasn’t told the public is that only $383,000 of the extra $5.2m is budgeted for actual representation at the Waitangi Tribunal.

“This comes at the end of a week where Parekura Horomia admitted that he didn’t bother putting in a Budget bid, and took the advice of officials at face value.

“This is an area where Labour’s been a spectacular failure. It has again ignored the public’s demand to get these matters dealt with fairly, finally and sooner rather than later,” says Mr Brownlee.

Ends

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