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Maori Party to show leadership in the Inquiry

Maori Party to show leadership in the Constitutional Inquiry

17 November 2004

The Maori Party today announced that it would participate in a nationwide constitutional inquiry announced by the Prime Minister in the weekend.

‘Our people would expect nothing less’ said Mrs Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

‘New Zealanders recall the Prime Minister advising the Queen in her visit here in February 2002, that the Treaty was our founding document, and later in August of that year, in her own Speech from the Throne stating that “The basis of constitutional government in this country is to be found in its founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi”.

‘Those assurances give the Maori Party confidence that there are at least three parties in the Parliament, who are committed to entrenching the Treaty of Waitangi in a constitution for Aotearoa’ said Mrs Turia today.

Tangata whenua have been asking for a review of the constitutional arrangements of this land for decades.

The three legendary Hirangi hui called by the Paramount Chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Sir Hepi te Heuheu, nearly ten years ago in 1995 and 1996, revealed the intensity of interest among Maori in this subject.

‘Those hui raised the issues of constitutional change on the basis of the Declaration of Independence 1835 and the Treaty of Waitangi 1840’, stated Mrs Turia today.

‘Tangata whenua have been rigorously exploring these ideas and are willing to take up a pro-active, and co-leadership role with the Crown, in exploring this issue of such critical importance to our nation’ said Mrs Turia.

‘We would encourage NZ First and National to respond positively to the opportunity for all of our citizens to talk together about our future, as a nation said Mrs Turia.

ENDS

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