18 Feb 2010

Retention of Waitangi Tribunal needed - Graham

3:28 pm on 18 February 2010

Former Treaty Negotiations Minister Sir Douglas Graham says the Waitangi Tribunal needs to continue after historical treaty claims are settled.

The Government has a target of 2014 to settle such claims.

Sir Douglas, who acted as facilitator on a comprehensive multi-iwi Auckland settlement, says the tribunal will still have a role considering new issues that arise.

He told Waatea News that if Maori people feel the Crown or the Government are not acting poperly, they ought to be able to go to the Waitangi Tribunal and say so.

Sir Douglas said he's not one of those who say abolish the tribunal: he said it should remain there as a safety valve.

Sir Douglas says New Zealand should be proud of itself on the way Treaty settlements are progressing and he's happy to continue to be involved if asked.

The Government has more work for Sir Douglas. Prime Minister John Key says it is considering where he will be dispatched next.

He says the former National MP has a sharp legal mind and can see a way through complex situations. He is also respected as a voice of the Crown.