Government accused of “fostering more division”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 01, 2021 |

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson / Photo: Te Puni Kōkiri

National Party Leader Judith Collins has accused the Government of “fostering more division.”

It follows Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson’s announcement that the Government will work through a two-step process for its He Puapua report.

The report suggested separate Māori institutions including separate Māori Parliament and separate Māori courts.

Jackson said the Government will begin with targeted engagement over the next few months with key iwi and significant Māori organisations on how they wish to be involved. This will be followed by wide public consultation with New Zealanders on a draft Declaration plan.

“The time is right to develop a plan that measures our progress in advocating for Māori in real and meaningful ways. This must reflect New Zealand and it’s an important conversation for us to all have together as a nation” Jackson said.

“As we have previously said He Puapua is not government policy nor the basis of a declaration plan. Instead it is a starting point for discussion.”

New Zealand signed up to the Declaration in 2010 through then-Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, under a National-led government.

Collins said “we acknowledge the wrongs of the past must be righted and believe that the best way for the Government to address inequality is to address the issues themselves. That means getting houses built, ensuring equal access to health care, education, and employment, and ensuring access to rehabilitation to end cycles of crime and violence.”

“We must be one people underneath the law despite all of our diversity.

We will not support a system of co-governance that undermines our democracy and treats people differently based on ethnicity. Questions of constitution are not simply a conversation to be had between Māori and the Crown. New Zealand is not made up of just Pākehā and Māori. We are multi-cultural and all of us have a stake in this country.”

Collins said “I challenge Minister Jackson to extend his consultation on these matters to all New Zealanders so this can be something all New Zealanders contribute to. By making this a matter for Māori alone, he is fostering more division.”

 “This Government continues to forge a path for New Zealand that the majority do not want for this country. They are determined to make our differing skin colours and ethnicities more important than all of the things we have in common. My vision is one where New Zealanders are moving together towards a more prosperous future; all 200+ ethnicities who call New Zealand home.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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