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Complaint lodged over Treaty committee

15 April 2006

Complaint lodged over Treaty committee

Don Brash MP - National Party Leader

A complaint has been lodged with the Human Rights Commission over a Manukau City Council (MCC) decision that National Party Leader Don Brash says "marginalises Maori and defies democracy".

Dr Brash is commenting on the MCC decision to expand its Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee, a committee made up of city councillors and Maori members of the community.

"First, I'd question whether there is any need at all for a racially exclusive committee that sits on the fringes of local authority decision-making. The National Party believes the Treaty of Waitangi gave as many rights to non-Maori as it did to Maori, so why do committee members have to be Maori or a councillor?

"But what's extraordinary about this case is the council's view that only Maori registered on the Maori Electoral Roll can nominate candidates, or be candidates.

"This is totally unacceptable. With the stroke of a pen, the council is denying 13,500 Maori registered on the General Electoral Roll the opportunity to take part in the process, not to mention the large number of non-Maori with an interest."

In its media statement, the Manukau City Council says 'candidates and their nominators must be of Maori descent, resident in Manukau City and registered on the Maori Parliamentary Electoral Roll'.

"This policy totally overlooks that fact that 40% of Maori in the area are registered on the General Roll. It is yet another symptom of an electoral system that is sliding towards racial division. Worse still is that this drift is being sanctioned and promoted at both central and local government levels.

"National believes there is no future in an electoral system that divides New Zealanders on the basis of race. This council decision implies that only Maori on the Maori roll should be allowed to have a say on Treaty matters."

Dr Brash is calling on the Manukau City Council to re-think its policy and ultimately scrap the committee.

"There should be one rule for all New Zealanders. The reality is that Maori on the Maori Roll have no more rights than those on the General Roll and they have the same rights as every other Kiwi. But that's not the message being sent by the Manukau City Council. It needs to re-visit this policy."

National opposes Maori-only council wards, and it proposes to scrap the Maori seats in Parliament.

"I also commend local Councillor Dick Quax who has steadfastly opposed the MCC process," says Dr Brash.

Inquiries: Kevin Taylor (027) 600 5619

Attached: Complaint, MCC media statement, MCC Nomination Paper & General Notes - 12 pages.


COUNCIL CALLS FOR NOMINATIONS FOR TE TIRITI O WAITANGI COMMITTEE
31 MARCH 2006
Manukau City Council resolved last night that the number of Taura Here (Maori affiliated to tribes outside of Manukau) representatives on the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Standing Committee be increased from three to four, bringing the total number of members to 18.
Previously, membership of the Committee consisted of nine councillors and eight appointed members (5 Mana Whenua and 3 Taura Here members).
Council agreed to increase Taura Here membership in response to concerns expressed by Maori about the uneven level of representation for appointed members compared with elected members.
Candidates will be selected at a hui on 13 May at Te Puea Marae in Mangere Bridge for recommendation to the Council which will make the final appointment. The first committee meeting will be held in June.
Sir Barry Curtis, Mayor of Manukau and Chair of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Committee, is delighted with the decision and is looking forward to the first meeting.
"Maori are the Tangata Whenua and they have a special and unique place in New Zealand life, as does the Treaty. This Committee will allow Manukau City Council to meet its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi in a number of ways including policy development and decision-making processes."
Nominations are invited for the four Taura Here positions. Nomination forms are available from the Treaty of Waitangi Unit, Democratic Processes, Level 4, Civic Centre, Wiri Station Road, Manukau City or on line at www.manukau.govt.nz
Candidates and their nominators must be of Maori descent, resident in Manukau City and registered on the Maori Parliamentary Electoral Roll.

**********

SEE ALSO:

  • http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0604/Brash__MCC_ToW_Ctee_General_notes.pdf
  • http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0604/Brash__MCC_ToW_Nomination.pdf
  • **********

    COMPLAINT FORM


    It is not necessary to complete this form in order to make a complaint. If the facts of your complaint are complex or if it is a long running dispute or if you think a written account will be helpful, please complete this form. Should you not wish to complete the form please contact one of our Information Advisors by calling 0800 496 877. Please send your completed form to:

    Human Rights Commission, PO Box 6751, Wellesley Street, Auckland

    If you need an interpreter or help filling in this form, please call the Human Rights Commission InfoLine toll-free on 0800 496 877. Your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau is also able to provide information to assist you.

    The Commission’s TTY (teletypewriter) access number is 0800 150 111.

    PLEASE NOTE:

    Pages 3 to 6 may be sent to the person or organisation you are complaining about, if we accept your complaint.

    Your Details: (please print)

    Name: Toa Greening


    Address: 1 Whitbourne Heights
    Manurewa
    Manukau

    Phone: Fax:

    E-mail: toa@xtra.co.nz

    Fill out this box if you are complaint on behalf of someone else (for example, your child)

    Name of NA
    Other person:

    What is your NA
    relationship to
    that person?


    Who are you complaining about?

    Name: Manukau City Council

    Organisation/Business/
    Company etc. Manukau City Council


    Address: 31-33 Wiri Station Rd
    Manukau City
    Auckland


    Phone: 0-9-263-7100 Fax: 0-9-262-5151

    DETAILS OF THE COMPLAINT

    We need to know what happened to make you believe you have been discriminated against or sexually harassed or racially harassed.

    If you are complaining about more than one incident, please list details in chronological order for each incident. Please give details of:

    WHAT happened; (tell us exactly what was said, in the words used at the time)

    WHEN it happened (dates,day/month/year/time of day);

    WHERE it happened;

    WHO is the person responsible for each incident (name and/or relationship, e.g. boss, co-worker, real estate agent).

    Please number each incident separately.

    Incident:
    This complaint is against the recent Manukau City Council decision to call for nominations to the Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee (refer to the below URL).
    http://www.manukau.govt.nz/latest/2006/march/taura.htm

    My issue is with the below statement.
    “Candidates and their nominators must be of Maori descent, resident in Manukau City and registered on the Maori Parliamentary Electoral Roll.”

    I am of Maori Descent, a Manukau resident but on the General Electoral Roll. As a result of being on the General Electoral Roll I am ineligible to participate in this process. From what I understand this means that I cannot stand as a candidate, nominate a candidate or vote for a candidate because I am on the General Electoral Roll.

    The key role of the Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee is as below (refer to 4 (a) URL).
    “Recommend to Council responses to Te Tiriti O Waitangi issues and a strategy and work programme for relationships development with Maori in Manukau.”
    http://www.manukau.govt.nz/latest/2006/march/General%20notes%20for%20nomination.pdf

    How can this decision be viewed as “relationships development with Maori in Manukau” when their first decision is to exclude 13,500 Manukau City based Maori on the General Electoral roll. (refer to the below URL) http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2006/03/art100010847.php
    How has this affected you?
    How did you feel at the time? How do you feel now?
    What loss or harm have you experienced?
    I am very disappointed for the following reasons:

    1. That Manukau City Council Officers could recommend this decision from the consultation Huis’ to disallow Manukau City based Maori on the General Electoral roll. When in the same consultation Huis’ they dismissed another decision to disallow candidates with criminal convictions from the past 5 years (ie Allow candidates with recent criminal records to stand).
    http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2006/03/art100010847.php

    2. That the majority of Manukau City Councillors agreed with the recommendation to disallow Manukau City based Maori on the General Electoral roll.from participating.
    http://www.manukau.govt.nz/latest/2006/march/taura.htm

    3. Who will be representing those 13,500 Manukau based Maori on the General Electoral roll.

    As a result I have no faith in the Manukau City Councils’ ability to make fully informed decisions on Maori issues from this Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee.

    Additionally I am frustrated over this as I attended the original Huis’ last year which discussed the creation of Maori Committee/Ward. To learn that’ this decision has been made on the below misinformed assumption with no factual basis is a huge generalisation of the highest degree.

    “on the grounds that Maori roll members are more likely to be “committed to the issues addressed” and “knowledgeable about Maori issues”.
    http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2006/03/art100010847.php

    Up until now I had always thought that the Manukau City Council dealt fairly regarding Maori issues and in many instances I have participated in the process. Now this Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee means I will no longer be able to participate in any Manukau City Council Maori issues because I am on the General Electoral roll.

    Have you tried to resolve your complaint in any other way?
    (eg by talking to your boss, union organiser, landlord).

    If so, please explain:
    My discussions with Manukau City Councillor Dick Quax (who voted against the decision) was to contact the Human Rights Commission on this issue as it is a clear case of discrimination based upon my political affiliation of being on the General Electoral roll.

    OUTCOME:

    What do you want to achieve by making this complaint? What outcomes would satisfy you?

    If any part of what you are complaining about occurred more than 12 months ago, please explain why you did not make a complaint earlier.
    To enable all 13,500 Manukau Maori on the General Electoral roll eligible to vote, nominate and stand on the Manukau City Council Te Tiriti O Waitangi Committee.

    Signed:…………………………………………. Date:………………..

    ENDS


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