Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Matiu Rata's enduring legacy

10 October 2000 Media Statement
Matiu Rata's enduring legacy

Mana Motuhake leader and Associate Maori Affairs Minister Hon Sandra Lee says the Waitangi Tribunal remains a relevant and enduring legacy of the late Matiu Rata who established it, despite the emergence of fast-track alternatives.

Ms Lee has marked the 25th anniversary of the Waitangi Tribunal by paying tribute to work of the Tribunal's members throughout its quarter century existence.

"They have carefully and meticulously addressed the critical grievances that would otherwise corrode the fabric of our society," Ms Lee said. "Their findings may sometimes be fraught with controversy but their job is far from over."

Ms Lee said claimants now had alternative ways to seek redress for grievances such as direct negotiations with the Government.

But she said fast-tracking of a settlement by itself did not necessarily bring with it the public acceptance of historical wrongdoing. She said the more considered Waitangi Tribunal processes often produced evidence that was impossible to ignore in the seeking of fair and just settlements.

"Matiu Rata's foresight in creating the legislation setting up the Tribunal has provided our country with a vital mechanism to examine injustices that have created long-standing grievances between the two people of this nation, " Ms Lee said.

"For those who now decry the Tribunal and its important functions, they would be wise to reflect how bleak the bicultural landscape of our country might have been without this important legislation," she said.

"Essentially the most important role the Waitangi Tribunal has played is an educative one," the Minister said.

"As claims are articulated and later reported in the news media, most New Zealanders—who are essentially fair-minded people—usually understand far better what had given rise to grievances and the need for redress, after the Tribunal has done its important work."

Ms Lee said this was what Matiu Rata envisaged when he created "this precious piece of legislation".

She said it was ironic that when he founded Mana Motuhake, Matiu Rata was regarded as "radical" for calling for land taken from Maori to be returned, and for New Zealand to become a republic and be known as Aotearoa.

She says much of what the party has been advocating over the years has become almost mainstream, in terms of Maori political and social concerns.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election