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.