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.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news