Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Waitangi gravy train - who will end it

No, it's not the vivid imagination of conservative punters. A former member of the Waitangi Tribunal, Dr Michael Bassett, is hardly a paragon of conservatism, being a former Labour Cabinet Minister. He has written in his latest column about the taxpayer funded claims process:
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"Both major political parties know that what is happening is wrong, and that ordinary Maori in whose name the claims are made, aren’t getting a cracker out of the money being spent on lawyers, researchers and Tribunal staff. The spinelessness that we have come to expect of politicians in an MMP environment assists the greedy, when it was the needy we set out to help in 1985."
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Of course you've been paying for the "jobs" involved in this process, he continues:
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"By the time I joined the Tribunal in 1994 hearings were awash with lawyers, most on Legal Aid, with the claims before us being funded by the CFRT or the Tribunal’s taxpayer funded resources. Virtually none of the costly process was paid for upfront by the claimants. They therefore had no incentive to be careful with taxpayers’ money, or even with the Maori money that many were eventually to receive from the CFRT. Rorting the Tribunal process has become the name of the game. A whole industry numbering somewhere around 1,000 people gathered around new grievances that keep being dreamt up.
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When politicians settled on land grievances as the cause of Maori problems they made a mistake. It would have made better sense to examine welfare and the huge damage it has done to Maori society. The Waitangi Tribunal should be scaled down. The industry is of no use to 99% of the people it’s meant to serve. "
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However, don't hold your breath. National of course nurtured this industry when it was in power, it will do nothing now as it anxiously seeks support from the flotsam and jetsam of anti-semitics and Mugabe appeasers in the Maori Party. The Waitangi Tribunal should be wound up, claims of state theft of land should be heard through the courts, for both Maori and non-Maori claimants. However, no doubt far too many who suckle from nanny state (i.e. you) will ensure the Maori Party holds us all to ransom for this industry - and of course call everyone who criticises this as racist.
Still going to vote National? I know Libertarianz would abolish the Waitangi Tribunal, but what will ACT push for? Wouldn't things be different if National had to rely on ACT and the Libertarianz to govern, rather than the racist party?

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