January 09, 2017
Timid English threatens treaty settlement
Prime Minister Bill English’s decision to skip Treaty commemorations at Waitangi could spell the end of hopes for getting the Ngapuhi settlement process back on track.
Mr English has blamed elders from Te Tii Marae for his decision to celebrate Waitangi Day in Auckland, saying he was told he would not be able to talk politics during the speeches of welcome.
That hasn’t gone down well with Ngapuhi MPs.
Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says the Prime Minister could have fronted up and said what he wanted to say and no one would have sat him down.
Fellow Labour MP Peeni Henare says National made a big deal of trying to settle historic treaty claims by the end of 2017 but now Mr English seems to be sabotaging work done by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson to get Ngapuhi back to the table.
New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone who also chairs the committee organising the official Waitangi Day programme on the Treaty Grounds, says he’s disappointed with the Prime Minister’s decision.
He says it’s also not a good look for the Maori Party which claims to be at the Government table but seems incapable of giving constructive advice to its partner.
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