Treaty settlements don't 'hold much promise' for most Maori - Don Brash

News 04/02/2019
Photo: Getty.

Don Brash plans to explain ways New Zealand can improve economic prosperity for Maori in his speech at Waitangi.

The former National Party leader and Hobson's Pledge spokesperson was invited to speak the day before Waitangi Day by organiser Reuben Taipari.

Mr Brash told Magic Talk that he believes treaty settlements an ineffective way to improve the economic prosperity of Maori, which will be covered in his speech.

Ordinary Maori haven't been made prosperous by the treaty settlement process.

"If Maori people think that their prosperity will be assured once treaty settlements are made, that's unfortunate, in fact it's a negative, because it will hold people back from doing things that might help them," Mr Brash said.

He argued that prolonged treaty settlements disadvantage some Maori because they are "left to believe this will be the answer to their problem". The majority of Maori, he says, will not gain wealth from settlements.

"No doubt it will make some Maori very wealthy indeed, the treaty settlements, but for most Maori, it doesn't hold much promise."

But Magic Mornings host Peter Williams explained that settlements with Ngāi Tahu and Tainui have provided decent incomes for the iwi, which goes to show that the treaty settlements can be successful for Maori.

Mr Brash countered by asking Williams to walk down the streets of Huntly to see whether those settlements have actually benefited locals.

"Ordinary Maori haven't made prosperous by the treaty settlement process, sadly.

"I think that's a reason for getting the process done and dusted, so this expectation is laid to rest," Mr Brash said.

Meanwhile, activist Te Aro Pritchard of Te Ata Tino Toa says Mr Brash to not be allowed to speak at Waitangi because he doesn't support Maori political empowerment and tino rangatiratanga.

"Hate speech should not be allowed inside out Waitangi forum tent," she told Magic Talk.

Mr Brash hasn't always had a pleasant reception at Waitangi. He was left with mud on his face and suit as leader of the National Party in opposition when he attended 15 years ago.

He's been guaranteed protection when he speaks at Waitangi on Tuesday.   

Listen to the full interviews with Don Brash and Te Aro Pritchard above.

Magic Talk.