16 Feb 2012

Govt not making any committments about section 9

8:40 am on 16 February 2012

State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says the Government is getting a clear message that Maori want Treaty provisions in new legislation governing partial asset sales.

Hui are being held around the country on the plan to sell part of four State energy companies.

At the heart of the debate is section nine of the State Owned Enterprises Act - requiring the Crown to act in accordance with the Treaty.

Mr Ryall says that while a consistent message is coming through at the hui that Maori want section nine to be transferred to the new legislation, he is not making any commitments.

He says ministers will take all the feedback into account when they make their final decision.

The final hui is being held in Napier on Monday. Submissions close next Wednesday.

Compensation hint

Maori Party former president Professor Whatarangi Winiata says that if it does turn out that the Treaty clause is diluted in some way, then Maori should be compensated.

Professor Winiata says he realises that some Maori may not like this idea.

Meanwhile, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says he does not believe the Government is genuinely consulting with Maori about Treaty of Waitangi provisions in the new legislation.

He says the hui have been a farce, because the Government will do what it wants to do, regardless of Maori.