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Timeframe on Treaty settlements needed


Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Timeframe on Treaty settlements needed

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne today is urging National Party leader John Key to reconsider his abandonment of his party’s Treaty settlement policy.

Mr Key was asked today when National would settle all Treaty claims and abolish the Maori seats, to which he replied, “Who knows?”

Mr Dunne said “Well I think New Zealanders’ want to know. National policy has been to settle Treaty grievances within 5 years – it’s plain on their website for all to see.

“But today’s comment from Mr Key on this policy could mean that the Treaty grievance process could be dragged out for years longer than it should.

“New Zealand needs to settle grievances once and for all, and sooner rather than later. Both Maori and non-Maori need this to happen so we can move on as a country.

“National makes this point in their policy – so I can’t work out why Mr Key now seems willing to delay settling the claims process.”

Mr Dunne says UnitedFuture will seek to commit the next Government to a goal of settling all existing historical claims by 2014.

“Treaty settlements need to be resourced and settled in a timely matter with clear goalposts. We need a clear timeframe to aim for, or the grievance process will linger, and this is to the benefit of nobody except the lawyers involved

“We would also like to see all New Zealanders have a say on the future of separate Maori seats by that time as well,” said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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