'They are now going back to an apartheid type system' - Winston Peters fires up over Maori representation

There have been heated exchanges in Parliament during debate over iwi treaty settlement claims, which are at the centre of a war of words between the Government and New Zealand First.

The NZ First leader was in full flight, laying down the law over Treaty settlement legislation. Source: 1 NEWS

Winston Peters opposes clauses in the settlements that would put Maori representatives onto Taranaki Regional Council planning and regulatory committees.

"They are now going back to an apartheid type system where they want to appoint six, paid for by ratepayers, none of them elected, on to the council," he said.

It's a similar issue to that which divided New Plymouth and saw the city's mayor Andrew Judd decide against re-election because of the backlash.

He supports what the Government is doing.

"It's a great solution, via the treaty, to put an obligation on council to include Maori in decision making," he said.

The Government says outside voices such as Federate Farmers already sit on council committees, but that doesn't satisfy Mr Peters.

"The people from Taranaki are being taken for a ride."

Despite his objections, the settlement legislation will pass.