Mp Calls For Special Waitangi Tribunal To Break Treaty Logjam

  • John Delamare
Associate Minister of Health

MP for Te Tai Rawhiti, Tuariki Delamere, today proposed a high-powered Special Waitangi Tribunal be established to break what he described as the logjam affecting the settlement of claims under the Treaty of Waitangi.

In a speech to graduating Maori students at Massey University's Albany campus on Auckland's North Shore, Mr Delamere proposed that the Special Tribunal be made up of the Chief Justice, Sian Elias; Lord Cooke of Thorndon; Justice Eddie Durie; Justice David Baragwanath and the Rt Reverend Sir Paul Reeves.

"This Tribunal would examine the fundamental questions of what should happen to the fishing and other assets of Te Ohu Kai Moana; what the Crown should do with land it admits was wrongly taken from Maori and which the Crown still retains; and what should be the proper role of Maori in the ownership and management of New Zealand's mineral resources, its lakes, rivers and foreshores.

"It seems to me that there will never be consensus on what should happen to the fishing assets, because of party politics as well as iwi/hapu politics, and therefore the Special Tribunal should make a binding decision that will be enacted by Parliament.

"On the other two questions, the Special Tribunal would make determinations which will not be binding on Parliament.

"In this way, it seems to me, we could break the logjams that have developed in the Treaty settlement process and make real progress," said the MP.

In the same speech, Mr Delamere also urged the retention of MMP as being in the best political interests of Maori and called for the formation of a unified Maori-controlled party.