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TREATY: $22m to speed up claims

MEDIA RELEASE

Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples Co-Leaders of the Maori Party

28 May 2009

TREATY: $22m to speed up claims

Discussions between the Maori Party and Minister in Charge of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson will see an extra $22.2 million spent on reducing the time it takes to settle Treaty claims.

“Our election manifesto gave clear priority to the need to streamline the process to achieve an effective and enduring reconciliation between iwi, hapu and the Crown,” Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples said.

“Reducing negotiation time in a manner that doesn’t diminish the mana of Treaty claimants was one of the Maori Party’s pre-election promises and we look forward to seeing this money spent in that way.”

The extra money will also help further promote chief-to-chief negotiations, maintaining kotahitanga in and between iwi and hapu groups and face to face negotiations between claimants and the Crown.

“The Maori Party election manifesto made the commitment that ‘we will involve independent facilitators’ – a commitment that we see demonstrated today as part of the settlement appropriation,” the co-leaders said.

“We have appreciated the open dialogue between the Maori Party and Minister Finlayson and we are pleased to see some of the results of that work in Budget 2009.

“Of course there are still issues we will be working with the Government to address, including the need to increase claimant funding, but today’s announcements are a solid start to achieving the difference we need.”

The extra money will see $5.4 million allocated in 2009/10 and $5.6 million allocated in each of the following three years.

ENDS

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