Parliament

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

 

Speech: Harawira - Immigration Bill, Third Reading

Immigration Bill : Third Reading
Hone Harawira, MP for Te Tai Tokerau
Thursday 29 October 2009

Yesterday I got back home after being away for three weeks as part of a delegation to the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva.

While there we also visited the European Parliament in Brussels, where we met with MPs and officials to see how they got 27 different countries to work together, on issues as diverse as the global financial crisis, trade, immigration and multiculturalism.

We also visited the World War One battlefields at Flanders, laid wreaths to fallen New Zealand soldiers, and took part in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate on the outskirts of Ypres.

Visiting memorials dedicated to hundreds of thousands of soldiers who gave their lives for a war many of them didn’t understand, brought home to me the importance of our own country’s commitment to human rights overseas, which brings me of course to the Bill before us today, and the importance of our having a strong, positive and fair immigration system in Aotearoa.

Mr Speaker, Apirana Ngata said that Māori participation in the First World War was our ‘price of citizenship' – the price we pay to be part of shaping our nation – a price which went through the roof with the commitment of the Maori Battalion in World War II, where the Maori casualty rate was 50% higher than that of every other New Zealand infantry battalion, and where more Maori died per head of population than every other people in the Allied Forces.

Mr Speaker, I raise these matters because I want this house to be reminded of the price we have paid for our citizenship, and the right we have as tangata whenua to sit at the decision-making table as Treaty partners, not as tenants, nor as a minority.

Our own Declaration of Independence, which we celebrated yesterday, and the Treaty of Waitangi, serve as this nation’s very first immigration charters; indeed, Dr Ranginui Walker described the Treaty as the source for all migration to Aotearoa from Europe, Australia, and the United Kingdom; the guarantee of a developing social contract; a partnership of the two cultures; with at its very core the expectation that Māori, as a Treaty partner, be consulted on every aspect concerning people who want to come here.

And yet this Bill is more about managing immigration and balancing the rights of the individual, than it is about serving the national interest by having all new citizens complete a course in the history of Aotearoa and the Pacific as part of their price of citizenship, which is exactly what Maori told the last government during a consultation hui in 2001 on immigration policy.

The last government ignored that call, and so it would seem is the current government, but the Maori Party takes the view that contracts are to be honoured in the deed rather than in the breach, and suggests that an understanding of the Treaty is a critical component of immigration policy.

Mr Speaker, the Maori Party’s confidence and supply agreement with National says that “both the National Party and the Maori Party will act in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi”, and yet government has decided unilaterally that the Treaty is not relevant to immigration policy.

So I introduced a Supplementary Order Paper, to give Māori a right to participate in immigration management, consistent with the rights guaranteed to Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi.

No big deal really; in fact it was very similar to other SOPs we have put up on other legislation. Unfortunately however, it suffered a very similar fate as those other SOPs as well; voted down by every other party in the House except ourselves and the Greens (and again – my thanks to the Greens for their continued support of Treaty issues).

Mr Speaker, the Maori Party also has grave concerns about significant human rights issues in the Bill, such as:

* the abuse of private information;
* the prolonged detention of asylum seekers;
* the protection of the rights of children born in Aotearoa without citizenship; and
* the refusal to allow the Human Rights Commission to have jurisdiction over immigration matters.

And for those, and for many other reasons Mr Speaker, the Maori Party will be opposing this Bill.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On (Not) Taking Responsibility, Terrorism Porn, And Dylan’s 76th

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point.

Reportedly, some junior members of his staff had been trying to tell him and his senior colleagues in management for years about the fraudulent actions of Joanne Harrison... Not only were those internal alerts apparently ignored. Some of the whistle blowers were allegedly punished by losing their jobs, as Harrison and her colleagues in management took revenge on them... More>>

Auditor-General's Statement: Standing Aside for Review of Appointment
Yesterday, I wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and requested an independent person review my suitability for the role of Controller and Auditor-General... More>>

 

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget Offers: Green Party’s New Plan Puts Kiwi Families First

The Green Party has a plan to help all Kiwi kids have a great start to life, by giving parents more financial support and more flexibility at work. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election