Parliament

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

RNZ Live Updates: SkyCity Fire Brings Auckland CBD To A Halt

The fire at Auckland's SkyCity international convention centre has been raging for more than a day resulting in nearby offices being shut, roads closed and health warnings being issued...

• The fire broke on the roof of the SkyCity international convention centre just after 1pm Tuesday.

• Fire and Emergency manager Ron Devlin says the plan is to "sacrifice the roof". Once materials from the roof have fallen in, crews can go into the fifth floor and put the fire out, he says. Photo: RNZ / Danielle Street More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Simon Bridges And Political Correctness

Having failed all year at being a credible alternative Prime Minister, National leader Simon Bridges has lowered his aspirational target this week to something more within his range. More>>

Bullying: Police Commissioner Announces Review

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced an independent review of the systems and processes NZ Police has in place to address complaints of bullying. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cab: Now We Are Two

Questions covered Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments on the potential closure of Mediaworks' television channels, the Auckland light rail planning process, the select committee report on the Zero Carbon Bill and its methane target range... More>>

Court Issues New Guildines: Revamp Of Meth Sentencing Welcomed

The court accepted submissions by both the New Zealand Bar Association and the New Zealand Law Society that rather than solely focusing on the quantity of meth involved, there should be greater focus on the role of the offender. More>>

ALSO:

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels