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Consultants Get $6.5 Million - Public Gets Zip

Hon Georgina Te Heuheu MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokeswoman

21 October 2003

Bureaucrats And Consultants Get $6.5 Million - Public Gets Zip

"A public hungry for fair and timely resolution of Treaty settlements will get no satisfaction from the Government's Treaty Education programme, but bureaucrats and consultants will get fat off taxpayer dollars," says National Party Maori Affairs spokeswoman Georgina Te Heuheu.

"The location of the Government's $6.5 million Treaty Education programme in a unit of the State Services Commission guarantees that the biggest recipients of the programme will be bureaucrats informing themselves about the Treaty, followed closely by consultants of all hues promoting their Treaty frameworks.

"Under the Labour Government the Treaty gravy train gets a big boost to keep chugging along with no corresponding benefit to completion of historic claims. This is not what New Zealanders want," Mrs Te Heuheu says.

"The public (all ordinary people) will be lucky to get a look in on any Treaty information at all, let alone the satisfaction of seeing claims resolved.

"Meantime, the Waitangi Tribunal which has primary responsibility for hearing claims, struggles under the weight of a workload refocused to meet Government strategy for Central North Island Forestry Claims, and recently put under more pressure by the Government's hopeless proposals for the foreshore and seabed.

"Diverting funding to meet the Government's agenda means that the Tribunal's so-called stream-lined process is now seriously under threat," Mrs Te Heuheu says

"Rather than waste $6.5 million on some nebulous Treaty education programme, the Government should boost the resources of the Waitangi Tribunal so it can complete historic case books. It should appoint mature, senior and experienced negotiators to sort these matters out," says Mrs Te Heuheu.

Ends


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