Māori Party rejects Labour MP's blame game
Tuesday 14 August
The Māori Party is rejecting an explanation from Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey that the Pare Hauraki settlement was signed off by the previous government.
"The record shows that former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said in Parliament in July 2018 that he would not sign a deal with the Hauraki Collective until all issues have been worked out,” said Māori Party President, Che Wilson. During Question Time in Parliament on July 26 2017, MP Nanaia Mahuta had asked Minister Finlayson if he would support Flavell's position to not sign the Hauraki settlement until all issues currently in dispute with Tauranga Moana iwi were resolved.
Minister Finlayson's response was "Yes I will because I think these are difficult issues and the last thing I want to do through a treaty settlement, or rushing through a treaty settlement, is to create further grievances." “I recall that what happened at that time, was that Ngai Te Rangi had been pushing for a tikanga or culturally-driven process” said Māori Party co-leader, Mārama Fox.
"Te Ururoa Flavell, as Minister for Māori Development, then introduced a process of engaging iwi-to-iwi and rangatira to rangatira. This tikanga process involved a broad range of meetings to identify the broad outline for wider iwi-to-iwi hui," said Marama Fox. Māori Party vice-president, Kaapua Smith said “A Settlement is not final until you sign the Deed, and pass the legislation. Until then there is always time to act, space to advocate and hope for change." “When you are the one in power you need to own that responsibility. This Labour Government won all the Māori seats and has the highest number of Māori MPs in our history. There is no excuse.”