INDEPENDENT NEWS

Crucial Maori Inquiries Must Continue Says Peters

Published: Thu 12 Sep 2002 12:15 AM
Media Release
12 September 2002
Crucial Maori Inquiries Must Continue Says Peters
New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has asked why Labour wants to shut down crucial Maori Affairs select inquiries into big Treaty settlement issues.
The new Maori Affairs select committee chairman Mahara Okeroa has said (Dom Post p2) that existing inquiries into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and the Waitangi Fisheries Commission will not be picked up by the new committee.
Mr Peters said it was vital that these inquiries proceed, even if they embarrassed the Labour Party and the “Treaty industry” and he would raise the issue of finishing both inquiries at the select committee next week.
“The CFRT has accumulated $300 million in cash and securities and generates funding revenue of $20 million a year. This year the Trust is going to spend just under $19 million but only $2.5 million is going to claimants.
“Where is the rest going?”
Mr Peters said that Waitangi Fisheries Commission was also a serious issue because of the huge delay in allocating the fisheries assets and the continued denial of benefits to ordinary Maori.
“These inquiries were never finished by the last select committee and it is in everyone’s interests that they proceed,” he said.
ENDS

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