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Devil will be in the detail of Labour U-turn

Dr Wayne Mapp MP National Party Treaty of Waitangi Spokesman

21 July 2004

Devil will be in the detail of latest Labour U-turn

National Party Treaty of Waitangi and Constitutional Issues spokesman Wayne Mapp is warning Maori and non-Maori alike that the devil will be in the detail of Labour's apparent U-turn on time limits for historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

"Margaret Wilson is the same Minister who said that National's policy to introduce deadlines was 'out of touch and ignored the complexity of the Treaty settlement process'.

"It's clear from reports as recently as today that there are still mixed views in the Labour Caucus on this issue, so it would not appear to be a forgone conclusion.

"Margaret Wilson has previously stated publicly that she thought historical claim settlements could be concluded within 15 years - so a deadline of 15 years would obviously suit the snail's pace being set by Labour.

"Helen Clark confirmed that in Parliament on March 02 when she said 'the process of settling historical claims could be through in 10 to 15 years.'

"National has pledged to conclude historical Treaty claims within five years of becoming the Government. We believe that's achievable with good management.

"Margaret Wilson and Helen Clark appear content to leave the door wide open on contemporary claims - which virtually guarantees the survival of the grievance industry.

"The settlement process has slowed considerably since Labour took office, with claims bogged down due to lack of leadership and commitment.

"National is absolutely committed to completing the settlement of historical grievances. We will ensure the process is accelerated and brought to a just conclusion," says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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