Crisis State of Treaty Settlements Realised
Maori Party pleased at Labour's recognition of the Crisis State of Treaty Settlements
Te Ururoa Flavell, Treaty Spokesperson for the Maori Party
Thursday 1 November 2007
The Maori Party is pleased that the government has finally acknowledged the crisis state of the Treaty Negotiations portfolio by placing the Leader of the House into this challenging area.
"There has been wide-spread dis-satisfaction and frustration from whanau, hapu and iwi about the disastrous performance of the Crown in settling Treaty claims. Instead of proceeding in a fair and robust manner, the government has 'played favourites', made decisions in isolation, based on inadequate information, and generally acted in ways which breach the principles and duties imposed by the Treaty relationship" said Te Ururoa Flavell, Treaty Spokesperson for the Maori Party.
"The Maori Party has consistently raised these concerns with the previous Minister in questions in the House, letters and meetings" said Mr Flavell.
"We have been particularly concerned about the negative impact that poor settlement processes have on the durability of any settlement, and we acknowledge too, the deep rifts that have arisen because of the effect of flawed processes on overlapping claimants".
"We are pleased that the government has recognised the precarious state of this portfolio by placing the Leader of the House in charge, and adding another Associate Minister to the portfolio" said Flavell.
"We know that the fact that confidence in the process has been lost in Parliament - making the government uncertain of support for current settlement legislation - will have heightened government anxiety" said Flavell.
"It is good to know that the government is now listening to the concerns that have been raised" said Flavell, "and we are very appreciative that the suggestions we have raised in our Budget Treaty package (released on 9 May 2007) and in our consistent call for an inquiry into the Treaty settlements process will be a focus for the Labour Party conference this weekend (remit 44)."