Former New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has again launched a scathing attack on the Waitangi Tribunal, saying it needs to "return to settling historical claims".
"Ko tā rātou he kimikimi noa, he whakapōrearea noa iho nei. He take tēnā ōku i mea ake ko te kaupapa hei whakatutuki mā rātou ko ngā kereme a-whenua, a-ika kua tata te oti wēnā kerema a-iwi. Ka eke rawa ki taua wā, ka pau i a rātou te whakatau a-whenua, a-ika, a-taiao whakamutua te taraipiunara. Me hoki mai anō ki tētahi paepae whāiti rawa atu."
(They're just overstepping their jurisdiction. I think their role is to settle claims about lands and fisheries. Those tribal settlements are almost complete. Once they're done, once they've settled the land, fisheries and environmental claims the tribunal should be disestablished and a much smaller panel installed instead)
Jones has long held this view on the tribunal dating back to 2018. He told teaomaori.news today the tribunal was "pointless and being a nuisance". He also said the government needed to stop dragging the Treaty of Waitangi into controversial legislation such as health and water reforms.
"Kāore au e whakaae atu ki tō rātou hiahia kia riro mā te kāwanatanga matarua hei tū hei tauira mō ngā kaupapa wai e toru, kaupapa hauora. Pai kē me waihō ko te Tiriti e tū ki runga i tōna tūranga e tika ana. Kāore e whakaae ana me mau mai me tō mai e rātou te Tiriti."
(I don't agree with their plan for co-governance as the model for issues such as the Three Waters, and health. I think the Treaty must remain in its rightful place. I don't agree that it should be dragged into everything.)