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


Papers Show Treaty Clause Was Extended

National today released papers obtained under the Official Information Act which show that the Government extended the Treaty of Waitangi clause in the Singapore trade deal to go beyond mere Treaty obligations.

"We object to the Government using trade deals to promote its now highly questioned 'closing the gaps' policy," Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"That's a far more questionable step than simply honouring its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

"But the papers show that is what the Government has done:"

As a result of the outreach we have conducted with Maori on the CEP with Singapore, our (MFAT) view is that the proposed Article on the Treaty of Waitangi needs to be broadened to make it clear that it is not just actions taken to fulfil Treaty obligations that would be exempted from the Agreement but also affirmative action programmes for Maori, e.g. Closing the Gaps which may not be directly linked to a specific Treaty obligation.

"This is precisely the issue we have raised all along," Mrs Shipley said.

"In the Heads of Agreement that Lockwood Smith and Singapore Trade Minister George Yeo signed in September 1999, the New Zealand Government simply sought the right to enact policies that would allow 'New Zealand to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.'

"But in the agreement the Labour Government finalised with Singapore, those words have grown to cover 'more favourable treatment to Maori in respect of matters covered by this agreement including in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.'

"The CEP is the first such agreement - including the 1994 General Agreement on Trade in Services and the subsequently abandoned 1998 Multilateral Agreement on Investment - that links both the Treaty and a commitment to 'more favourable' treatment for Maori.

"To National, that is a worrying trend. We've objected to the growing number of Treaty clauses in Government legislation that interpret the Treaty as a guarantee of more favourable treatment.

"We see such clauses leading to fruitless court action rather than genuine progress.

"That's why we've signalled our intention to renegotiate the Treaty article when we are next in Government.

"We have a real concern that ill-conceived Treaty clauses are in fact damaging race relations in New Zealand," Mrs Shipley said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote. We also acknowledge the men who supported the cause and voted for the Bill to pass.

“Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a female Prime Minister, we have women in cabinet. And I’m here as Acting Minister because the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. New Zealand is a good place to be a woman!” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>


'Post-Settlement Era': Māori Crown Agency To Be Established

Cabinet has approved the final scope of the Māori Crown portfolio and agreed to establish an agency to oversee Government’s work with Māori in a post-settlement era, announced Crown/ Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader... More>>


Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>


Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>


NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Ardern Pep Talk

The intolerance being shown as the coalition process unfolds in New Zealand betrays our depressing appetite for a tidily totalitarian style of government where everyone is expected to march in lockstep. More>>





InfoPages News Channels