Manukau City Council Opposes Treaty Bill
Friday 27 October 2006
Manukau City Council Opposes Treaty Principles Deletion Bill
The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are of fundamental importance in the creation of a socially just and equitable society in Aotearoa New Zealand, says the Manukau City Council.
The Council last night (Thursday 26 October 2006) approved a submission strongly opposing the New Zealand First-sponsored Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill. It says withdrawal of the principles from legislation would have the effect of: “Eliminating the nation’s present framework for recognising Maori rights, as protected in the Treaty, without the offer of an alternative agreed framework for addressing these issues.”
The Council resolved to send its submission to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee and seek to speak to its submission if the select committee convenes in the Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) region. Council representatives will be Mayor Sir Barry Curtis and deputy chair of Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee James Brown.
The submission says council is aware of the views held in the Maori community that the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi water down the actual undertakings made in the Maori text of the Treaty regarding the cession of kawanatanga (governance) and retention of rangatiratanga (chieftainship).
However, it argues that until an agreed alternative framework is available, the principles provide the only guide for individuals, organisations and, in particular, central and local government, for determining Treaty issues.
“The Bill, in seeking to remove the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi,” Sir Barry says, “is diametrically opposed to the path and values Manukau City Council has espoused since 1986 when it resolved to acknowledge, and play its role in addressing, the issues raised in the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision on the Manukau claim.”
Sir Barry notes the point in the submission which says the wider issue is not whether the phrase “the principles of the Treaty” should be removed from legislation but whether the Treaty and its vision for New Zealand as a nation built on partnership between Māori, as tangata whenua, and the many peoples of New Zealand as represented by the Crown, should continue into the future.