Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Letter to Hon Phil Goff

Tracey Whare Trustee Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust c/- 125 Perry Street MASTERTON

6 October 2004

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Parliament Buildings WELLINGTON

Dear Mr Goff

Consultation on the United Nations draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

1. The Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust requests the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (“MFAT”) to initiate robust consultation with Maori iwi, hapu, whanau, organisations and individuals on its proposed amendments to the Sub- Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights text of the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“draft Declaration”).

2. The reasons for recommending consultation include:

consultation is required by the Treaty of Waitangi; the draft Declaration itself includes an indigenous peoples’ right to consultation when issues are considered by government that impact on indigenous peoples; the New Zealand government’s credibility when suggesting amendments to the draft Declaration at the United Nations Working Group of the draft Declaration (“WGDD”) is seriously undermined when other governmental and indigenous delegations learn that there was no consultation whatsoever with Maori iwi, hapu, whanau, organisations and individuals on the proposed amendments; and until there is consultation with Maori iwi, hapu, whanau, organisations and individuals, it is very difficult for Maori delegates at the WGDD to comment on, or respond to, any suggested amendments to the draft Declaration. 3. The consultation should take place before the next meeting of the WGDD, which starts on 29 November 2004.

4. Consultation with Maori iwi, hapu, whanau, organisations and individuals must be robust. We recommend that MFAT send out:

copies of the draft Declaration; the government’s proposed amendments to the draft Declaration; and information about the process involved in the drafting of the draft Declaration including the work completed by the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the process the draft Declaration would need to follow before adoption by the United Nations General Assembly.

5. We recommend at least a day hosted by government in which it:

presents the background to the draft Declaration; presents its suggested amendments; and explains the United Nations process that the draft Declaration must go through for adoption by the United Nations.

6. There should be an opportunity for Maori individuals who have attended the WGDD to, in private, present their perspective on negotiations on the draft Declaration thus far coupled with indigenous caucus perspectives. It could be followed by a session for all Maori iwi, hapu, whanau and organisation representatives and individuals to discuss the government’s proposed amendments in private to assess whether there is room to accommodate the government’s concerns. At the end of the day, it would be appropriate to allow time for an open-discussion between government officials and Maori iwi, hapu, whanau and organisation representatives and individuals.

7. Following the consultation day, we recommend allowing Maori iwi, hapu, whanau and organisation representatives and individuals time to devise their own respective responses to the government’s proposed changes to the draft Declaration. These could then be forwarded to the government (if they feel it appropriate) or Maori individuals who plan to be present at the WGDD meeting in November and can present their views.

8. The trustees recognise that the time frames for robust consultation are tight. However, this problem is of the government’s making.

9. We will be disseminating this letter widely to our Maori networks.

10. We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Tracey Whare Trustee Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election