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Ed Sheeran

Peters defends treaty bill delay

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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says parliament shouldn’t rubber stamp treaty settlement bills without proper debate.

A special sitting on Friday to pass five bills was called off after the party refused to accept the decision of the business committee that the usual rules about attendance didn’t apply.

He says aspects of the bills need to be debated, including the one settling the claims of Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa in his Northland electorate.

"All of the iwi is going to get what belongs to one hapu in Whangaroa. That is wrong. It is wrong in Maori law, it is wrong going back centuries in the way we see things, and that is the kind of thing they were going to ram through, and we made up our mind ‘you are not going to get away with that, you are going to have these things out in the public so people get fairness and justice," Mr Peters says.

The Maori Party accused New Zealand First of showing disrespect to iwi who had already made travel plans, but Mr Peters says the session could go ahead if parties called back MPs from leave to ensure a quorum.



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