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Treaty clause to improve State services

Tuesday 25th June 2013

Treaty clause to improve State services

The Maori Party wants the State Sector Act, the Crown Entities Act and the Public Finance Act to have clauses reflecting the fact that the Treaty of Waitangi is the basis of New Zealand’s constitution.

“The State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill will amend all three Acts, and the Māori Party will be proposing a Supplementary Order Paper to introduce a Treaty clause before the new Bill is passed,” said Māori Party MP for Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell.

“The aim of the Treaty clause is to empower the Government to make sure that public services meet the needs of all citizens equally, as was envisaged when the Treaty was signed,” said Mr Flavell.

“Despite many attempts over generations to ‘close the gaps’, there are still serious disparities in the outcomes for Māori from their dealings with the government, compared with other citizens,” he said.

“Our SOP will require chief executives of government agencies to make specific Statements of Intent, and to report back on how their operations have been planned and implemented to ensure equitable access by all New Zealanders.

“It will also empower (but not oblige) the government to direct all government entities to support better outcomes for Māori and across all ethnic groups.

“We have written to the Minister of State Services to say that we see a real opportunity to embrace the Treaty at the forefront of state services, but that we cannot support the Bill in its current form,” said Mr Flavell.

“We hope that our SOP will support the strong submissions from the Public Service Association along the same lines, and we hope to work with the union as we advance this proposal.”


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