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Treaty Tribes Say Some Merit In Dunne Proposal

Some Merit In Dunne Proposal

The Treaty Tribes Coalition says there is some merit in Peter Dunne's proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand's Future Constitutional Arrangements and his suggested Terms of Reference.

"Rational debate on where New Zealand is heading as a country is needed, and Peter Dunne's proposal could be a way to involve both Pakeha and Màori in that," Coalition Chairman Harry Mikaere said.

However, Mr Mikaere warned that it would be difficult for Màori to feel the process was genuine if the Government persisted with its proposed legislation on the foreshore and seabed at this time.

"The proposed legislation is a constitutional outrage because it takes away the rights of Màori to have access to the courts. Those rights are fundamental constitutional rights that some academics and jurists believe not even an Act of Parliament can remove.

"Many Màori would welcome engagement with the Government and Pakeha on constitutional issues. But how can Màori be expected to engage in such a process when the Government is threatening to violate such fundamental constitutional rights?" Mr Mikaere said.

The Treaty Tribes Coalition represents Ngài Tahu, Ngàti Kahungunu, Ngài Tamanuhiri and Hauraki Iwi.

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