20 Jul 2012

Crown doing Treaty deals not settlements - Greens

8:19 am on 20 July 2012

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty is standing by her comment that the Crown is doing Treaty deals with iwi - and not making settlements.

She made the statement in Parliament on Thursday during the second reading of settlement bills for Maraeroa A and B Blocks, Ngati Makino, Rongowhakaata, and Ngai Tamanuhiri.

Her position has angered the Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson who says the suggestion that settlements are deals is sanctimonious and insensitive and fundamentally incorrect.

But Catherine Delahunty says she's saying what tangata whenua are saying.

She says she spoke to a tribal representitive attending Parliament who backed up her comment.

Ms Delahunty says allowing Maori to buy back confiscated land at the present market rate is not her idea of redress, rather, it should be at the price of the whenua when it was taken.

She says that, in some cases, iwi are getting a deal not a settlement.

It was that comment in particular that drew a testy response from Mr Christopher Finlayson.

He said the Green Party's position makes him angry and diminishes the importance of the settlements.

The third and final reading of the Treaty bills is due to take place next week.