Dominion Post, Judith Collins, Legal Aid, Treatygate, Waitangi Tribunal

Only battered women, criminals and iwi get free legal aid

Legal Aid - Battered Woman, Criminal, Treaty Claimant

You may have seen this recent Dom Post article about Treaty claimants getting $79 million in legal aid over the past six years.

The article reveals the standard perks — or rorts, depending on your point of view:

  • As well as legal costs, Treaty lawyers can claim on travel, meals, accommodation, and the expense of attending a hui to discuss a claim.  
  •  More than $800,000 has also been claimed in travel costs during the past 2 years.  

Nothing too unusual there.

But then we get into some good, old-fashioned Maori privilege (the kind the likes of Peter Meihana would have you believe doesn’t exist):

  • Unlike civil or criminal cases, Treaty claimants can obtain legal aid regardless of their financial circumstances.

Typical, huh?

But if you think that stinks, it’s nothing to what the article doesn’t tell you…

(This comes from a friend who used to dole out New Zealand’s legal aid. Here’s what he just told me…

There are only three classes of applicant that don’t have to pay back legal aid:

  1. Domestic violence victims.
  2. Accused criminals.
  3. Treaty claimants.

You heard it here first, folks. Free lawyers for battered women (fair enough, but why not all violence victims?), crims, and griever Maori.

And it gets worse.

  • While Treaty claims represent a fraction of the total number of legal aid cases, they are often among the most expensive.

Not only the most expensive. Also — by far — the most successful.

What other class of legal aid applicant is so regularly clogging up our legal system demanding millions of dollars from taxpayers — and winning?

(Courtesy of a kangaroo court specifically set up to shepherd their claims past a “see no evil” appeaser government, with no regard for historical truth.)

In other words…

no class of applicant is more able than Griever Maori to afford to pay back their legal aid.

And yet, unlike you and me — even when they win settlements in the hundreds of millions of dollars — they don’t have to pay back a cent.

And unlike criminals, they don’t even have to prove that they’re hard up to get their free legal aid.

Legal aid, remember, is your and my hard-earned cash, handed over to iwi so they can hire lawyers to bring often-bogus cases against you and me, that the Waitangi Tribunal finds any excuse to approve, then gets Chris Finlayson and co. to rubber stamp.)

More points from the article:

  • Of the 75 most expensive cases of 2008-09, 41 per cent were for Treaty claims.  
  • The Waitangi Tribunal is currently handling or preparing 780 separate claims, which are resolved through regional hearings.  
  • In a statement, Justice Minister Judith Collins said she was comfortable with the amount of money being spent on legal aid for Treaty claims.

Disappointing, Judith. I used to think you’d make a strong prime minister.


16 thoughts on “Only battered women, criminals and iwi get free legal aid

  1. It would appear that this whole cabinet is “comfortable” with the money spent on both legal aid and in settlements that are for the most part based on fiction, dreamed up by whoever and approved by the Waitangi Tribunal.
    If the majority of people either do bot know, do not care, or are happy with this state of affairs it will obviously end up sending the “other” part of the ethnic make up of this country broke.

  2. Absolutely appauling, these Maori Griever leeches are more able to pay back Legal Aid then any one else, after all what have they contributed to the coffers to get Aid (zilch)

  3. I can understand to some extent why they wouldn’t be expected to repay. Presumably, the logic is that they suffered some injustice from the state so the state should enable effectively free recourse to whatever mechanism is in place to hear their claim?

    What I query is that a) it seems the process appears biased in favour of the claimants b) ignores the historical context c) do Moriori get to claim for what happened to them 150 years ago?

  4. I actually think it is corruption on a grand scale. Also, the reason their affairs cost so much is because they hire the absolutely best legal people. Why not – it doesn’t cost them a cent?!! It costs us, the taxpayer.

    They are being given our money to fleece us fraudulently!!

    It’s long overdue for this to be halted in its tracks but I won’t hold my breath.

  5. I actually think it is corruption on a grand scale. Also, the reason their affairs cost so much is because they hire the absolutely best legal people. The best cost the earth. But why not – it doesn’t cost them a cent?!! It costs us, the taxpayer.

    They are being given our money to fleece us fraudulently!!

    It’s long overdue for this to be halted in its tracks but I won’t hold my breath.

  6. Yes Helen, it’s corrupt alright and you hear about corruption in places like Columbia, China, Indonesia ad nauseum but never in squeaky clean NZ, oh no, they wear suits and have impeccable haircuts so they must be honest-as. Not.

  7. Helen, Kiwi Guy and Peter are correct in saying that it’s corruption on a grand scale. The corrupt ‘Waitangi Tribunal’ must be closed down, there is enough evidence to do so as mentioned before in this report. There is also a mention of the same in an e-book based as to where polynesian – Maori came from knowing full well that they were not the first to settle Aotearoa / New Zealand, as there were five seperate cultures living peacefully together before the Great Migration so why these false claims? View: www, or on As an e-book the first 20% is a free read.

  8. Kiwiguy, There are no Moriori left. They were slaughtered or enslaved by the Maori. The last full-blooded Moriori, a Mr. Solomon, died on the Chatham Islands when I was a teenager in the 1950s.

    Treaty Settlements: See the N.Z. Centre for Political Research site for an analysis of the settlements charade so far. Over $1billion have so far been paid and they are only half way through, but over THREE BILLION DOLLARS have so far been paid out in costs of that continuing rort. Thankfully, at least one claim is being challenged – that of the Atiawa. In order to escape the inter-tribal slaughter of the musket wars in Taranaki, Atiawa fled to the Nelson area in the north of the South Island only 20 years before 1840, yet they are making a claim for loss of Nelson land to which they had no right anyway.

    We are a country of only 4 million people!!! No wonder we are in financial schtook. We are also selling our best industrial assets to the Chinese. N.Z. must wake up!!! There is much more than Rugby Racing and Beer!!! Before we know it, that’s all we’ll be left with.

  9. Thank you Peter and others. I’ve never really been away, just silent while I dealt with other things.

    I have emerged from my period of hibernation and contemplation in a feisty, combative mood.

    We are in a battle for the soul of New Zealand, and I intend to do everything I possibly can to ensure that 85% of the population defeats the bullying fraction of 15% that thinks it can hold the rest of us to ransom.

    I have long since ceased to care about whether that is personally costly to me.

    It is, of course. It is mentally and financially draining, and may soon become physically dangerous as well.

    I simply don’t care.

    People keep telling me I’m brave. Well, I’m happy if they want to think that, and no doubt it’s good for my brand.

    But in my own mind, what I feel is more of a bloody-minded recklessness – born of intense frustration.

    I’ve never been a naturally courageous person at all – so if I appear so now then a) the tendency has taken 54 years to emerge, and b) it just shows the depth of my frustration at the relentless asset-stripping of my country by shameless liars and thugs.

    I sense that you guys feel the same.

    And anyway, all the risks are massively outweighed by the good feeling that I am using my few skills to provide a rallying point for good, decent fellow citizens like you.

    I recommend that feeling, and urge you all to get involved and experience it too.

    The way I see it, we’re only on this earth for a relative nanosecond, and I’d like to make my nanosecond count.

    But enough ego-stroking from me. Back to the battle!

    (Stay tuned for some big announcements.)

  10. It is both staggering and shocking. What an utter waste – and for what? Also imagine what that money could have been spent on for the benefit of everyone, especially training the unemployed and getting them into some sort of work, to mention one of many initiatives.

    This and previous Governments should hang their heads in shame.

  11. Imagine our health system, road and public transport network, community services and more if $36b had been poured into them. Things that would benefit (as you say Helen) everyone. But no……

  12. It is not “crims” who get legal aid. Are you delibrately being frugal with the facts? It is people accused of a crime, that may result in imprisonment, and have no other means of contracting a lawyer.

  13. $36.9 billion is reckoned to be the size of the Maori economy. It is not the total of Treaty payments.

    However, according to study done by Mike Butler and Trina, the amount provided by the state solely for Maori is more or less $1.5 billion a year.

    So when critics say, “But the state bailed out South Canterbury Finance!” (I don’t agree with the National Party baling out its voters either, but at least most of it is being repaid), it pays to keep in mind that that Maori privilege payments equate to a South Canterbury Finance every year.

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