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Why Drag Out The Settlements

14th July 1999

For immediate release

WHY DRAG OUT THE SETTLEMENTS?

Maori Affairs Minister Hon Tau Henare said treaty settlements negotiated between the Crown and mandated negotiators should not have to be dragged out at select committee.

Commenting on the Ngati Turangitukua Bill currently before the House, Mr Henare said by sending Bills like this to select committee it gave an incorrect impression negotiated settlements could be renegotiated.

"There is no point. The only thing that this does is drag out the settlement and the distribution of the benefits to its recipients," he said.

"For the MP for Ngai Tahu [Tu Wyllie] to support such a process for the Ngai Tahu settlement and not for this, is astounding."

Mr Henare said settlement legislation gets a going over when it comes before the House for ratification.

"For what end does it serve to scrutinise legislation like this at select committee level. Settlements are between the mandated negotiators and the people they represent, and the Crown.

"There are only two parties to any treaty settlement - Maori and the Crown. Who does the Maori affairs select committee represent in the treaty partnership - no one. The settlement negotiated between the treaty partners leaves no room for others including the Maori affairs select committee.

"It has nothing to do with the wider community, nor should they [Maori affairs select committee] have the opportunity to tinker with these things," he said.

"For some of the current crop of political upstarts to impede the mana of other iwi or hapu, when their people or the people they represent have already been through the process, is the height of arrogance," he said.

ENDS

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