INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT for Fair, Full, and Final Settlements

Published: Sun 3 Oct 1999 01:05 PM
ACT to Campaign for Fair, Full, and Final Settlements
Sunday 3rd Oct 1999 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Governance & Constitution
ACT New Zealand today released its first major policy of the election campaign calling for the fair, full, and final settlement of all Treaty of Waitangi claims by 2010.
Launching the policy on Auckland's One Tree Hill, ACT Leader Richard Prebble said the Treaty settlement process was a major issue for all New Zealanders that should be firmly on the agenda this election.
"I am today challenging all the other political parties to tell New Zealanders whatthey will do to lay the grievances of the past to rest. They should front up and debate this issue.The reason they won't is that their policies are all the same," he said.
ACT's policy sets the end of the year 2000 as the cut off date when all claims must be in. "If a grievance hasn't been identified after 160 years it's not likely to be genuine," said Richard Prebble.
ACT wants Government to increase taxpayer resourcing of the Waitangi Tribunal to allow all claims to be heard and reported on by 2005. All Waitangi Settlements must be fair, full and final," he said.
"I believe ACT's commitment to get the claims heard and settled quickly will be greeted positively by all New Zealanders, particularly Maori claimants, some of whom have been waiting for years.
All New Zealanders want leadership and certainty on this issue. The wounds of Maori with legitimate claims have already waited far too long for the healing process to start.
Richard Prebble said the ability of New Zealand, as a nation, to put the grievances of the past behind it was the greatest challenge facing Maori, Parliament and all New Zealanders in the 21st century.
"Labour and National have no mandate for the treaty settlement course they have set thecountry on. Their reckless path is opening new wounds and new grievances," he said.
"It's ACT's policy that once the Tribunal has finished its work on the claims it will be abolished along with the whole Treaty grievance industry. The settlement process is not working for Maori, it is not working for New Zealanders. The only people benefiting from it are highly paid lawyers and consultants. "The only rational reason for the country to have embarked on a course of attempting to settle grievances that go back over 160 years is because until those genuine grievances are resolved it's not possible to have one law for all.
"In human history no nation succeeded that has different laws based on race. The ACT Party hasa vision of a New Zealand where there is one law for all. We want to achieve the vision of beingone country by the year 2010," said Richard Prebble. ENDS

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