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No Need For Treaty Principles In Health Act

No Need For Treaty Principles In Health Act

New Zealand First Maori affairs spokesman Pita Paraone is disappointed at calls today for the principles of the Treaty to be included in the new Public Health Bill currently being considered by the Health Select Committee.

Mr Paraone’s comments come after Public Health Association (PHA) National Executive Officer Dr Gay Keating said today in her submission to the committee that the exclusion of Treaty principles from the bill could be seen as an instance of institutional racism.

“It is sad that in 2008 that the PHA believes we have to rely on the inclusion of references to the Treaty of Waitangi to ensure service to Maori,” said Mr Paraone.

“This will be yet another piece of legislation that, if the PHA submission is accepted, will merely refer to the undefined ‘principles of the Treaty of Waitangi’ and increase the very confusion which Dr Keating is seeking to avoid.

“I can not think of a more apt instance of institutional racism than the inclusion of these undefined principles in government legislation.

“This begs the question as to why the principles were not included in the first place. Has this government come to realise the folly of their original decision to include undefined principles of the Treaty simply to provide a bit of flourish to the statute?

“Perhaps they have finally realised what New Zealand First has known for a long time, namely, that high quality health services can be provided without the need for these so called ‘principles’ in legislation,” said Mr Paraone.

ENDS

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