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The Burden Of Treaty Settlements

Media Release
Richard Worth
National Party Candidate for Epsom

29 October 1999 NEWS RELEASE


THE BURDEN OF TREATY SETTLEMENTS


Many Epsom voters are clearly concerned by the Treaty settlement process and its protracted nature. The decision by Labour to incorporate Treaty recognition in the State Owned Enterprises Act has given rise to a grievance industry which is substantial by any standards.

The calls for full, final and fair settlements are compelling. What is overlooked however is that the proposals of ACT will not ensure durable settlements.

In 1944 the Government imposed a number of settlements on Maori tribal groupings – Taranaki, Waikato-Maniopoto and Ngai Tahu. Those settlements have become unstuck. Settlements with Tainui and Ngai Tahu have had to be renegotiated. What this underscores is that imposed solutions within fixed timeframes will not work. Whilst we have to use all speed to reach and implement settlements, those settlements have to be arrived at by agreement. The process which then follows is for the settlement to be embodied in legislation. In that way the settlements will last and future generations will not confront the burdens which have confronted us.

I also believe it is legitimate for the Crown to satisfy itself that the settlement funds will be appropriated for the benefit of the Maori grouping. Normally in compensation cases the payor has no interest in how the money is spent but the Maori claim on welfare is so substantial that we do have an interest that public money is wisely spent. There is not much evidence to date of benefit accruing to those tribes with whom settlements have been struck.


Contact: Richard Worth
National Party Candidate for Epsom
Telephone: (09) 523 3313
Facsimile: (09) 523 3583
e-mail: richard.worth@national.org.nz

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