Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Māori Party’s head in the clouds

14 September 2007

Māori Party’s head in the clouds over non-binding UN declaration

The Māori Party is full of hollow talk over the government’s decision not to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says Māori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

Contrary to a number of misleading claims by the party’s co-leaders today, the New Zealand government did not vote against a move at the United Nations to outlaw discrimination against indigenous peoples.

“Nor does the government accept Tariana Turia’s ridiculous claim that this government believes indigenous people are “sub-human with only sub-human rights” – which I, and no doubt my Māori caucus colleagues, frankly find offensive.”

The declaration adopted in the UN yesterday is in effect a wish list which fails to bind states to any of its provisions, Mr Horomia said.

“This means it is toothless. I’m actually more than a little surprised the Māori Party is prepared to back something which effectively offers indigenous peoples no more than aspirational statements.”

Our government has worked extremely hard over a number of years to help forge a declaration which protects and promotes the rights of indigenous peoples in a meaningful way – and which states could actually implement, Mr Horomia said.

“The declaration adopted does neither and while we are proud of our efforts, we are deeply disappointed with the final result which we could not support.”

“There are four provisions we have problems with, which make the declaration fundamentally incompatible with New Zealand’s constitutional and legal arrangements and established Treaty settlement policy.”

Article 26 of the Declaration states that indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired. For New Zealand this covers potentially the entire country.

“It appears to require recognition of rights to lands now lawfully owned by other citizens, both indigenous and non-indigenous. This ignores contemporary reality and would be impossible to implement,” Mr Horomia said.

“The declaration also implies that indigenous people should have a right of veto over parliamentary law-making.”

The government strongly supports the full and active engagement of indigenous people in democratic decision-making processes. But these articles imply different classes of citizenship, where indigenous peoples have veto rights not held by others, Mr Horomia said.

“Indigenous rights in New Zealand are of profound importance. The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of this country and we have an unparalleled system for redress. Nearly 40 per cent of New Zealand fishing quota is owned by Maori and claims to over half of the country’s land area have been settled.

“We also have some of the most extensive consultation mechanisms in the world, where the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, including the principle of informed consent, are enshrined in resource management law.

“The Labour-led government is focused on pursuing goals which achieve real results for real people. It’s about time the Māori Party got its head out of the clouds and focused on achieving some real milestones, rather than pie-in-the-sky talk which won’t make a jot of difference in our peoples’ lives.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news