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Hone Harawira: Treaty Amendment Bill

Treaty of Waitangi (Removal of Conflict of Interest) Amendment Bill

Wed 18 June 2008

Hone Harawira, MP for Te Tai Tokerau

Mr Speaker, thisNew Zealand First bill, promoted by Pita Paraone, and denounced as being anti-Maori by Maori from throughout the country, plans to end the careers of some of our best Maori judges of theMaori Land Court, theHigh Court, and theWaitangi Tribunal, and to stop them from serving their own people.

This bill Mr Speaker, is exactly the same as that other anti-Maori bill, put forward byNew Zealand First, represented at Select Committee by Pita Paraone, voted for by all of Labour’s Maori MPs, including Parekura Horomia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones, and denounced as being anti-Maori, by Maori from throughout the country.
That bill was called thePrinciples of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill, and proposed taking the Treaty of Waitangi out of all New Zealand legislation.

Thankfully, the rest of the House voted with the Maori Party at second reading and threw it out, but not before Mr Speaker, not before all of Labour’s Maori MPs actuallyvoted to delete the Treaty of Waitangi from all New Zealand legislation.
And vote for it they did Mr Speaker, and not just a couple of them either, but the whole lot of them -Parekura Horomia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora,and Shane Jones!!!!
In fact, so horrified wasAngeline Greensill, Maori Party Member of the House of Hauraki-Waikato, that she actually rang me to say,
“Hone, are you sure? Are you telling me that every one of Labour’s Maori MPs, includingParekura Horomia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora, and Shane Jones, actually did something as dumb as tovote to delete the Treaty of Waitangi from all New Zealand legislation?
And being a fully paid up member of the Maori Party Mr Speaker, I had no option but to tell her the truth, that in fact, yes they had – all of Labour’s Maori MPsvoted- to delete the Treaty of Waitangi from all legislation.

Mr Speaker, this bill, thisTreaty of Waitangi (Removal of Conflict of Interest) Amendment Bill, is the same in many ways.
• This bill has also been put forward byNew Zealand First,
• This bill was also represented at Select Committee by Pita Paraone,
• This bill was also supported by all of Labour’s Maori MPs, including ParekuraHoromia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones, and
• This bill has also been denounced as anti-Maori, by Maori from throughout the country.
and I am happy to say that for all of those reasons and more, the Maori Party will not be supporting this bill.

Mr Speaker, the Maori Party will not be supporting this anti-Maori bill put forward byNew Zealand First, represented at Select Committee by Pita Paraone, supported by all of Labour’s Maori MPs, including ParekuraHoromia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones, and denounced as being anti-Maori by Maori from throughout the country…
because we know, as does the Select Committee, that sitting on both the Maori Land Court and the Waitangi Tribunal, requires people to have an understanding of tribal structures, Maori land history, custom and tradition –
and given that 80% of those people are likely to be Maori, we know that:
this bill… will effectively dump all of those Maori who had dedicated their lives to law school, court work, and tribunal work before taking up an appointment to either the Maori Land Court or the Waitangi Tribunal, and dismiss 95% of the greatest legal minds within Maoridom,
and Mr Speaker, how dumb is that …, how mind-numbingly, nonsensically, foolishly, downright dumb is that?

Mr Speaker, another reason the Maori Party will not be supporting this anti-Maori bill put forward byNew Zealand First, represented at Select Committee by Pita Paraone, supported by all of Labour’s Maori MPs, including ParekuraHoromia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones, and denounced as being anti-Maori by Maori from throughout the country…
is because it continues the assault against some of our top jurists like Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, Maori Land Court Judge Caren Wickliffe, and Chief Maori Land Court Judge Joe Williams,
who have all been dragged into the political spotlight and attacked, by over-zealous and intellectually-challenged Ministers of the Crown, wanting to impose their prejudices on the judiciary.
Mr Speaker, there is probably no other party that wants to change the appointment process for judges in Aotearoa as much as the Maori Party, but even we recognise the importance of keeping the judiciary separate from politicians who come and go at the whim of the electorate.

Mr Speaker, another reason the Maori Party will not be supporting this anti-Maori bill put forward byNew Zealand First, represented at Select Committee by Pita Paraone, supported by all of Labour’s Maori MPs, includingParekura Horomia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones, and denounced as being anti-Maori, by Maori from throughout the country…
is because it plans to muzzle the voices of judges who demonstrate every day, high levels of judicial competence and knowledge of Maori land matters, and replace them with retired judges who have already got heaps on their plate.

Mr Speaker, I was happy to be the Maori Party representative on the Select Committee which considered this anti-Maori bill put forward byNew Zealand First, represented at Select Committee by Pita Paraone, supported by all of Labour’s Maori MPs, including ParekuraHoromia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereora and Shane Jones, and denounced as being anti-Maori by Maori from throughout the country…
and I was equally as happy to hear their recommendation, that there was no inherent conflict of interest, and that therefore this bill could be thrown out, on the same scrapheap as the last one.

And finally Mr Speaker, let me ask this most obvious of questions, the question on the lips of Maori people all round the country –
if it’s conflict of interest thatPita Paraone, ParekuraHoromia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereoraand Shane Jones, are really concerned with,
then what about the conflict of interest that arises from the thieving buggers who actually stole our land, being the same bloody critters, who then set up the tribunal to decide the courtcase, pick who the judges will be, decide what can be returned and whatwon’t be returned, pick who can speak for the poor bloody victims, and then say how much the victims will have to pay to get their own land back.
Conflict of Interest, Mr Paraone? You want to talk aboutconflict of interest? Well that’s what you callConflict of Interest Mr Paraone, that’s the real deal that no-one wants to talk about.
Mr Horomia – how come the thieves who stole your tupuna’s land, also get to pick the judges for the courtase? How’s that for conflict of interest?
Ms Mahuta - how come the thieves who stole your tupuna’s land, also get to say what lands you can have back? How’s that for conflict of interest?
Mr Okeroa - how come the thieves who stole your tupuna’s land, get to say who your negotiators can be? How’s that for conflict of interest?
And for all the rest of you Maori MPs in Labour - how dare you support legislation that would delete the Treaty, and deny Maori the right to sit on their own Land Courts.
Mr Speaker, this bill …
• this bill supported byPita Paraone, ParekuraHoromia, Nanaia Mahuta, Mahara Okeroa, Mita Ririnui, Dover Samuels, Dave Hereoraand Shane Jones,in spite of overwhelming opposition from Maori right around the country …

• this bill … to stripthe Waitangi Tribunal and the Maori Land Court of some of the best legal minds in Maoridom …

• this bill Mr Speaker, is nothing but a pathetic attempt to deny Maori equal access to all levels of the judiciary,
Mr Speaker, the Maori Party stands proudly alongside the rest of Maoridom in denouncing this anti-Maori bill …
And we call on this House to consign it to the same trash-bin, as the last piece of legislative prejudice, put forward by New Zealand First.

Ends

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