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Government Minister Unmasked as Treaty Santa Claus

9 November 2012

Government Minister Unmasked as Treaty Santa Claus

New Zealand First is demanding answers from the Government on why it’s dodging questions about how many people it’s appointed to assist with Treaty of Waitangi settlements and how much they’ve been paid.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson’s evasive answers to written questions on the matter creates a smokescreen which masks the true cost of treaty settlements.

“He has refused to reveal exactly how many people have assisted in the negotiations, who they are, or how much they were paid.

“The suspicion is that he has dished out taxpayer dollars like a Treaty Santa Claus and now he’s doing his utmost to cover it up.”

Mr Peters says Minister Finlayson is making it impossible to establish the true cost of each settlement.

“That can only be established if the Minister releases full details about Government-appointed negotiators and facilitators – including how much they’ve been paid.

“The only reasonable conclusion to come from the Government, and Minister Finlayson, withholding information is that they have something to hide,” says Mr Peters.


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