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Tiriti O Waitangi/Treaty Of Waitangi Policy

Maori Party Tiriti O Waitangi/Treaty Of Waitangi Policy

Ma Te Tiriti o Waitangi ano e kawe ana korero

The Treaty of Waitangi conveys its own message But it may mean different things to different people

The Tiriti/Treaty of Waitangi was entered into with our tupuna who were recognised as indigenous people with sovereign rights. This is the reason the Tiriti/Treaty has both the capacity and the mana to act as a constitutional document for all people who live in this country.

The Maori Party, in recognition of that history and current reality, proposes 6 key areas for attention in relation to Tiriti/Treaty policy:

1. Constitutional Change

2. Maori Electorates

3. Changing Te Tiriti/Treaty Settlement Process

4. Entrenching Te Tiriti/Treaty in Legislation

5. State Sector Reform from a Tiriti/Treaty Perspective

6. Treaty Education

1. CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

The Maori Party stands for Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi providing the base for constitutional change in our nation so that shared governance becomes a reality.

The present constitutional system does not, and cannot meet or satisfy the needs of Maori from the perspective of our rights as indigenous people.

Constitutional change would focus on giving effect to Articles 1 and 2 of Te Tiriti/Treaty in a manner that reconciles Maori rights to exercise tino rangatiratanga with the need for kawanatanga. This would mean that the exercise of governance would be shared between the 2 Tiriti/Treaty partners, Tangata Whenua and the Crown.

Constitutional reform is not enough as it means accepting the present system and making cultural changes that merely accommodate Maori. Constitutional reform does not give effect to the Tiriti/Treaty.

New forms of governance and how we share political power need to be debated by the Tiriti/Treaty partners. We propose setting up a Tiriti/Treaty Commission to facilitate this process. Its members would be Maori and non-Maori (50/50). They would use a process that reflects a perspective drawn from Maori and non-Maori worldviews together. The Commission would facilitate constitutional forums which would bring together both parties to the Tiriti/Treaty in all their cultural diversity.

The Maori Party believes it is important to negotiate constitutional change over a 5 year timeframe. Setting such a timeframe is preferable to the current ongoing debate that has had no resolution to date under the present Labour government or previous National governments. Setting a timeframe also shows a practical commitment to Maori self-determination.

2. MAORI ELECTORATES

The Maori Party believes that the Maori electorates are our greatest political asset. Notwithstanding their history, they currently represent the only "Tiriti partner" mechanism in the central political system today. We intend to liberate the Maori electorates from the political domination of the current government. The Maori Party will operate them as a truly independent Maori voice.

We will entrench the Maori seats in legislation as soon as possible and take steps to enable the Maori electorates to grow, thereby strengthening them as a force for unity in this country under a Tiriti/Treaty Relationships Framework.

3. CHANGING TE TIRITI/TREATY SETTLEMENT PROCESS

We will support the enhancement of the role of the Waitangi Tribunal so they can deal with claims more speedily.

The Tribunal needs to be resourced to the level of $6m per annum so it can work fulltime. It needs new members added to it (50% Maori/50% Pakeha).

The functions of the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) need to be reviewed so that it is transformed into an independent organisation that operates from a Tiriti/Treaty two-worldview perspective through a Maori arm and the Crown arm.

The Commission would ensure that the process of dealing with Maori claimants would be dealt with in a fair and transparent way and would ensure that the negotiation framework would be agreed to by all parties up-front. This would be different from the way the OTS operates. The OTS currently controls both the outcome and the process on Crown terms.

Improving the settlement process from a Maori perspective will ensure that the claims will be settled earlier and that there is a broad consensus for the process and therefore greater commitment to settlement resolution.

Claimant funding needs to be reviewed and increased so that all parties to the settlement process are on a level playing field.

Via a reformed OTS, the quantum of compensation for Maori claimants would be reviewed by the Crown and Maori together and a more equitable approach agreed. This could involve increasing the value of Tiriti/Treaty Settlements.

4. ENTRENCHING TE TIRITI/TREATY IN LEGISLATION

The Maori Party proposes to entrench Te Tiriti/Treaty in all legislation so that decision making on matters that concern Maori, and Maori and the Crown together, is shared with us. For example the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act needs to be re-drafted to ensure that Articles 1 and 2 will guarantee Maori our mana and rangatiratanga and the ability to exercise power sharing on all issues that effect us as tangata whenua.

The Maori Party proposes to establish a Tiriti/Treaty legislation working group to outline the parameters and issues that will need to be canvassed to ensure the Tiriti/Treaty is given effect within the law.

5. STATE SECTOR REFORM FROM A TIRITI/TREATY PERSPECTIVE

The Maori Party believes that a shared Tiriti/Treaty Relationships approach needs to replace a Crown Treaty Principles approach when working with Tangata Whenua.

In order to manage the level of change required in the machinery of government, the Maori Party also proposes setting up Maori Strategic Governance Group that comprises Iwi and Hapu strategic leaders and key leaders in Maori community organisations whose job would be to

* guide and facilitate discussions with the Crown together with Public and State Sector CEOs and senior management concerning relationship development with Maori,

* articulate options for Maori and the Crown to develop strategies together for change in political and public/state sector leadership practice in the direction of creating treaty based relationships and working together more appropriately and effectively.

* This would include developing the key elements of a programme for Treaty reform and change in public and State Sector management practice in order to achieve improved relationship development and specific benefits that would occur through appropriate collaboration on jointly planned work programmes.

6. TREATY EDUCATION

Education on Te Tiriti/Treaty will be a major focus of the Maori Party to ensure that all New Zealanders have the information relating about the true history of Te Tiriti/Treaty and Treaty settlement histories as this relates to our future as a unified nation.

We estimate that $20m needs to be provided to existing community Tiriti/Treaty based facilitators to carry out this task. In parallel Tiriti/Treaty education for public and state sector employees needs to be carried out so that a Tiriti/Treaty two-world view perspective can be included in the policies, management and operations of the public and state sector and the consequent changes made.

ENDS

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