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Drop Treaty References In Health & Disability Bill

The Government must heed the warnings of the Race Relations Conciliator and drop the “Treaty” references in the Health and Disability Bill said ACT Deputy Leader and Health Spokesman Ken Shirley.

“The Conciliator told Parliament’s Health Select Committee today that such clauses could be interpreted as conferring privilege to one race over another and would not promote positive race relations in New Zealand.

“Furthermore the Conciliator believes the Treaty references contravene the standards set out in international instruments such as:
* The Convention on Civil and Political Rights
* The Covenant on Cultural and Social Rights, and
* The Convention on the elimination on all forms of racial discrimination.”

Mr Shirley also said that the issue is further compounded by the Minister of Health being unable to define the “principles” referred to under the Treaty of Waitangi clause.

“Last month I referred a parliamentary written question to the Minister seeking clarity but received a reply full of obfuscation and confusion.

“It is extremely irresponsible and dangerous for the Labour/Alliance Government to insert ill-defined race based clauses into social policy,” concluded Ken Shirley.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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