I am stunned that the Treaty lawyers in this story actually use the ‘gravy train’ term. A sense of entitlement is one thing but to then kick and scream that the Treaty “gravy train” isn’t moving fast enough is taking it to a whole new level.
Delays of up to two years in processing Waitangi legal aid invoices have seen staff go unpaid, workers fired, offices sold, homes mortgaged and personal loans racked up.
Firms spoken to by the Sunday Star-Times said they were still owed up to $500,000, even after emergency remedy payments, but owed thousands to Inland Revenue for GST.
Except that the Ministry of Justice also says:
“We are about quarter of the way through [the backlog] and are finding most [invoices] were paid but weren’t recorded as they should have been.”
I wonder what these “gravy train” firms will do if they don’t get ‘paid’ the full amount they seem to think is owing. And is it a little bit possible that it isn’t all the Ministry’s fault?
The ministry said part of the issue was poor quality invoicing by lawyers.
I am pretty sure there is a bit more to this story than just an administrative cock-up by a Ministry.