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NZ Should Not Be Ashamed of its Founding Document

CTU Media Release
26 July 2006

New Zealand Should Not Be Ashamed of its Founding Document - CTU

Council of Trade Unions Maori Vice President Sharon Clair says that New Zealand should be proud of its founding document, and moves to remove references to it in legislation are wrong.

Parliament this evening passed the first reading of the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill, a members' bill from NZ First's Doug Woolerton.

"The CTU recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa/New Zealand, and we accept its' significance should be reflected in statue," said Sharon Clair.

"Reference to our country's founding document does not cause the harm and division Mr Woolerton talks of - what has harmed and continues to harm race relations is the continued denial of the impact of forced assimilation, and misinformation designed to promote ethnic and racial tensions."

"The Living Standards 2004 report released this month clearly shows us that Maori face significant disparity in this country. Acknowledging the Treaty in legislation is accepting the need for Maori to have rangatiratanga over their affairs. That there are now 650 Kohanga reo, 59 Kura Kaupapa and 3 Wananga serving the educational needs of Maori is but one example of how Maori are achieving positive outcomes on a by Maori, for Maori basis."

"The CTU Runganga does not accept that removing the principles of the Treaty from legislation will somehow magically restore good will. We have a history as do all countries, and our history and our future is founded on the Treaty of Waitangi," said Sharon Clair.

Ends.

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