Thursday, August 04, 2005



At least its not next Tuesday

I've said before that I think the imposing of an arbitrary deadline on the filing of historical Treaty claims is a bad idea - it is a step designed solely to rule out claims on administrative grounds (like the various US state laws which prohibit appeals in death penalty cases after 30 days - even when there is exculpatory evidence), and therefore will lead to injustice. So it's more than a little disappointing to see Labour stooping to such policies. If we want justice over the Treaty, then that's exactly what we should stand for: justice - and if it takes a while for the researchers to do their work, then it is time well spent. But, OTOH, at least Labour is giving a little more time than the "next Tuesday" approach favoured by National and ACT, and at least they recognise that the key barrier which is slowing down the process is the time taken by the Waitangi Tribunal to research claims (hence the longer timeframe on settlement).

(I should add that the process of researching claims and telling the story of how the claimants were wrong is a key part of the process - at least according to one claimant at the Treaty Symposium I attended earlier in the year. If we want this to work, then we cannot rush things in this area).

If Labour is going to set a deadline, then they have an obligation to do it properly. Unless they properly resource the Tribunal and the Office of Treaty Settlements so they can research and settle claims before the deadline, and provide assistance to claimants so that no-one misses out, they will simply be perpetuating injustice, and creating a problem for future generations. Making the Treaty settlements process stick requires immense goodwill on both sides, and if the government is seen to be dealing in bad faith or fosters further grievances along the way, then the entire thing may end up being relitigated.

13 comments:

we so sick of treaty sav, we really sick of it, we build up anger against it, chris trotter predict this and he is right, we ready to throw out anything that say treat anywhere, it will get worse as you persist,
you swim against tide, then one day where sav? sav??

he gone gott deaded in a pile of old idea

Posted by peterquixote : 8/04/2005 11:07:00 AM

I'm sick of being told I'm sick of the Treaty. Surely the important thing is to get this done right, not get it done quickly? And yes, those shouldn't necessarily be alternatives, but it turns out that way in practise rather a lot.

Posted by Ghet : 8/04/2005 02:35:00 PM

There should be sufficient, even generous, time allowed for the thorough research and preparation of all treaty claims-but I don't think that has to preclude a cut off date.

What is the value in letting the process drag on indefinitely? There are good reasons for Statutes of Limitation on legal processes. The more time passes the harder it gets to gather evidence. And generally time tables and deadlines help people to prioritize what is important and to work efficiently.

Posted by Make Tea Not War : 8/04/2005 03:43:00 PM

MTNW: the big worry is what happens if a claim misses the cut-off. Are we going to perpetuate injustice solely for bureaucratic reasons? That's why I don't like the idea of a dead-line. A goal, sure, but not a dead-line.

I'd also note that Labour isn't promising to provide the necessary resources to ensure that it can meet its deadline... really, this policy stinks of sacrificing justice to pander to rednecks.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/04/2005 04:13:00 PM

I'd like to think that the process has definite endpoint not for bureaucratic reasons, but for practical ones. The Statues of Limitation exist for this reason.

How many years after the incidents that caused these injustices before it's considered too many? 100? 200? 500?

Pick a number and run with it. More than a couple of generations, and I'll want recompense from the Vikings.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/04/2005 04:48:00 PM

I/S I think you misunderstand your opposition to call them "redneck"s.

What is required to make a claim?
Those of us who are uninformed assume that it just amounts to a group of people explaining exactly what they want and why and maybe some proof they are related to the people who were harmed.
we wonder why e cant have a list of all of these, although we are a little concerned the list could be infinite.

Posted by Genius : 8/04/2005 08:31:00 PM

Genius, Genius Genius... Everyone knows that the way to deal to the heart of an ideological opposition is to belittle those that hold those views. Oh, it also helps to put forth rhetoric in a way that is hard to challenge. No one wants to be anti "human rights" for example. Well unless you are Robert Mugabe.

Redneck, bigot, justice "sacrificed", culturally insecure, homophobic, racist, etc. etc., are all part of the emotive arsenal that attempts to pull down your opposition without actually engaging with it.

Personally I don't mind whether there is a deadline on treaty claims or not as long as they get a fair and transparent process and are historically accurate.

But the "pandering to rednecks" statement really irritated me because it's a cheap shot at those who disagree with Idiot Savant.

Posted by muerk : 8/05/2005 01:13:00 AM

Anon: oh, I want an endpoint, have no doubt about that - but I want it done properly. Otherwise, it will simply come back to haunt us, no matter how many laws Parliament passes saying "this is over".

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/05/2005 09:41:00 AM

Genius: I don't think I misunderstand them at all. As they amply and repeatedly demonstrate, they are ignorant thick shits with no understanding of either the process they are criticising or the historical facts that have given rise to it. Or indeed the difficulties of determining and documenting those facts to the required standard of proof.

One of the reasons this process has taken so long is because it involves historians documenting every claim, so as to tell the story of how the claimants were wronged. And this is probably the most important bit - the return of land and financial redress is good, but given what was lost or taken, it is mostly symbolic. Its that telling the story, that function as a "truth and reconciliation commission", and that acknowledgement from the government that it acted wrongly or in bad faith (and the ceremonial apology) that is going to make this thing stick. This takes more time than people would like (especially people who show no interest in the matter except to bitch about the pittance it is costing), but if we want it to actually last, then that is how it must be done.

look, the government already has a list of how much they believe each claim is worth, and they could start dishing out the money and issuing boilerplate apologies tomorrow if they wanted. But this has always been about more than just compensation, and that is what takes the time.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/05/2005 09:54:00 AM

> As they amply and repeatedly demonstrate, they are ignorant thick shits

I think Meurk covered this. The problem is it is clear that you are so dismissive of other oppinions that if you were wrong there would be no way you could tell.

> Its that telling the story

Again this sounds like self jsutification. Racial disharmony has many reasons in history to just assume all of a sudden it only occurs in such a neat packaged form is not particularly convincing.

Still I am willing to accept that this process might help but its benefits would ahve to be weighed against all the potential costs.

I am concerned that the longer one allows racial issues to be considered both valid and unresolved the more people will identify with their racial grouping and then self justify that theirs deserves some benefit protection or whatever.

this I expect is a significant driver behind those you consider rednecks.

the best way of dealing it, I think, is like how the germans delt with their anger at being abused by jews - basically declaring that anger to be not legitimate.

Posted by Genius : 8/05/2005 09:20:00 PM

Idiot Savant: "ignorant thick shits"

I'm tempted by your arguments about time being a main factor in a fair process for Treaty claims, it seems reasonable.

But why persist in in the intellectually shallow behavior of dimissing your opponents as personally stupid? Why do you do this?

Posted by muerk : 8/05/2005 10:24:00 PM

Thanks Art and Letters Daily. I'm not the only one noticing this problem ...


http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CABCA.htm

Posted by muerk : 8/06/2005 04:42:00 PM

thanks for the link

Posted by Genius : 8/06/2005 07:22:00 PM