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Section 9 announcement a step in the right direction

MEDIA STATEMENT
Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Maori Party Co-Leaders
23 February 2012

Section 9 announcement a step in the right direction

The Maori Party has today reacted to the announcement by Hon. Bill English and Hon. Tony Ryall that the government will be looking to include "the concepts" of Section 9 of the SOE Act into the Public Finance Act, the proposed legislation that will govern the mixed ownership model enterprises.

“As tangata whenua, we all stand together in our position that the Treaty is important and must be accounted for in legislation,” said Tariana Turia, "we are clear in our goal that we want to see Section 9 transferred across in its entirety, so we are cautiously optimistic that the National Government took our stance into consideration and will look towards securing an adequate resolution on this issue.”

“We have always been really clear that our role as a political party is to open the door to tangata whenua to express their rangatiratanga. They made their views clear throughout this process, and our job is to ensure that the Government listens and gives effect to the korero put forward by our people” said Mrs Turia.

Dr. Sharples said “While we put our jobs on the line over this issue, this issue is not about us as a political party, it is about what is best for Maori and the people of New Zealand.”

“We put our weight behind the people, so we will continue to ensure that views of whanau, hapu and iwi are continued to be represented throughout the political process.” said Dr. Sharples.

Mrs Turia said “we are pleased that the Government has indicated a transfer of the concepts of Section 9, but the job is not over yet. We must now ensure that the range of issues raised by tangata whenua, such as those pertaining to water and natural resources, are adequately addressed and accounted for.”

“We support the range of differing pathways that hapu, iwi and Maori trusts take to address their water rights issues, and need to ensure that these processes are not adversely impacted” said Mrs Turia.

Dr. Sharples said “we will be continuing discussions with our National Party colleagues, with the intention of binding the Crown to the principles of the Treaty in the new legislation as in the SOE Act."

"We acknowledge the commitment and determination of whanau, hapu and iwi to engage in the consultation process and to ensure the Government listened to the voice of the people. That voice reminds the nation of the vital significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to guide us into the future."

ENDS

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