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Health And Treaty Relationships Hui - Turia Speech

Hon Tariana Turia Speech Notes

Opening Speech To The Health And Treaty Relationships Hui, Tapu Te Ranga Marae, Wellington

Tena koutou nga matawaka kua tau mai ki te rohe, ki te marae hoki, ko Tapu te Ranga, i tenei ra. Huri noa i te hui tena tatou katoa.

I believe that the hapu representatives who signed the Treaty, way back in 1840, had a vision.

My tupuna wahine Te Rereomaki signed the Treaty of Waitangi. She and others had a vision of a land, where they maintained their mana and their authority, over that which they considered to have a governance relationship.

The first question then, for us here over these next two days, is what and with whom, does the Crown have a governance relationship?

I put it to you that the governance relationship is with hapu and in a 21st century concept, the collective of hapu, we refer to as iwi.

Te Rereomaki and other signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi had a vision that the rivers, the hills, and the valleys of Hinengakau mai i te kahui maunga ki Tangaroa would celebrate the mana of hapu and Whanganuitanga.

The Crown has never had a Treaty of Waitangi goverance relationship with any other social institution other than hapu or iwi. This relationship is based on governance rights, the rights of indigenous people to have authority over their people and their resources.

What is confusing at times is that the ‘contractual service delivery relationship’ is confused by many people, with that of a ‘governance relationship’.

They are not the same.

The contractual service delivery relationship serves to meet the needs of citizens.

A service provider, provides the services to the people. At this level, it is the culturally competent way in which they operate, internally and in their provision of services, that defines whether they meet the needs of the tangata whenua and therefore give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi.

The next question could be - should iwi also be service providers or should they have their agents providing services, just as the Crown has its agents providing services?

I speak to you today with the benefit of being a Crown Agent as I am at present, and a former service provider of an iwi, as I was previously at home in Whanganui.

We must focus on how our iwi governance behaviour influences the practices of service delivery and participation of the people themselves, which will lead to improved health outcomes for our people.

All of us I know are here because of our people. We want to ensure the future of our people and we want to leave a better world for our mokopuna.

Bill Bevan, Whitireia Community Law Centre Managing Solicitor in a newspaper article last Thursday wrote that;

“Maori argued from the outset that the right to sovereignty claimed by the Crown was not absolute, but subject to the other promises contained in the Treaty. To claim the first, the Crown must keep faith with the second. It could not exercise its kawanatanga in a way that would be inconsistent with rangatiratanga or Maori ownership of the land.

Initially the Crown acknowledged a degree of self-determination for Maori. Section 71 of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 gave the early Parliament power to “set apart” districts where “Maori law and custom” would be maintained “for the government of themselves.”

The British Parliament clearly envisaged that Treaty promises would be carried into domestic law. However the government failed to follow through with this promise, as no such areas were ever set aside.

The courts also initially recognised the importance of the Treaty and the restrictions it imposed on the Crown.”

With that, I have great pleasure in performing my Crown duty, of opening this Open Space Technology workshop and wish you all success in participating in building a society of inclusion, just as the Treaty promised.

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.


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