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Response to Govt position on Waitangi Tribunal Report

Maori Council Response to Government's position on Waitangi Tribunal report

There will be a meeting of prominent Maori leaders representing New Zealand Maori Council, the Maori King, Claimants, and Iwi tomorrow at which the Government's announcement on the so-called shares plus will be fully discussed and a response agreed in principle. NZMC seek to give a considered response that has been agreed to by those working on this issue. It must be then discussed with the wider constituency.

“This is clearly a disappointing, if unsurprising, announcement from the Government," said Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie, co-chair of NZMC.

“The Government appears determined to push this matter into the Courts. That's not the right way for this case to be resolved. That is why the NZMC has been doing all we can to keep this case out of the Courts.”

“The right way to resolve this issue is around the negotiating table. The Prime Minister has previously said exactly that himself," said Sir Edward.

“The Government will not talk to the New Zealand Maori Council. It will not talk to the pan-Maori group set up by the Maori King. It only offered to meet with a few groups, which Government itself selected and then refused to discuss the main issues with them.”

“The decision announced by the Government today makes it clear that it does not understand this issue and has not understood the Waitangi Tribunal's decision.”

“It does appear that this matter is destined for the Courts, not because that outcome is desired by New Zealand Maori Council, but because the Government is refusing to progress resolution of the central issue – residual Maori proprietary rights.”

ENDS

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