December 17, 2014
Tribunal claim a last resort
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into treatment of Maori military veterans, shows politicians weren’t doing their jobs.
The tribunal held a judicial conference today to work out the scope of the claims and how it is going to conduct research and hearings.
Mr Peters says the treatment of Vietnam veterans and of those involved in Operation Grapple, who observed atmospheric nuclear tests in the 1950s, is a long-standing source of contention.
As treasurer, he tried to fund the participation of New Zealand veterans in a class action on Operation Grapple.
He says the move was resisted by Treasury and other government departments concerned at the cost of any settlement and the fall out in terms of relations with the United Kingdom.
"If parliament and parliamentarians had been responsible about it, we would have started dealing with these people much more fairly, much more quickly, and while we couldn’t rectify the medical problems they are facing, we could at least give them the relief they and their families and their wives and children deserved," Mr Peters says.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH WINSTON PETERS CLICK ON THE LINK
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