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International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

8 August 2014

Māori Party Celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has taken the opportunity on the International Day of the World's Indigenous People to acknowledge the historic contribution made by Māori Party founding leaders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples.

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to recognize the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make. This year’s theme is ‘Bridging the Gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples.’

“I can think of no finer achievement to demonstrate this than the combined powers of Pita and Tariana in April 2010,” said Te Ururoa Flavell. “In the space of a fortnight in time, Pita travelled to New York and represented the Government’s support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, while Tariana was at home announcing the transformational policy of self-determination, Whānau Ora.”

“When Pita addressed the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York to formalise our Government’s support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he acknowledged the shame of 13 September 2007 when New Zealand was one of only four nations to vote against the Declaration. The Labour Government’s most consistent objection to the Declaration had been Article 3's right to self-determination.”

“Three years later, with the Māori Party in a position of influence, we were able to restore New Zealand's mana in addressing indigenous rights, while at the same time Tariana negotiated hard to introduce on 8 April 2010 the ultimate manifestation of Article Three: the Whānau Ora approach which enables whānau to determine their own pathways forward.”

“We celebrate the courage and the tenacity of the Māori Party founding leaders who, though small in number, were able to achieve a significant investment in the rights of indigenous people, both internationally and at home.”


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