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Maori Party Bill Would Recognise Treaty in Oaths

MEDIA STATEMENT
Te Ururoa Flavell
MP for Waiariki
Thursday 30th August 2012


Maori Party Bill Would Recognise Treaty in Oaths And Declarations

A six-year campaign for the law to allow public officials to pledge to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi has taken a step forward today with Te Ururoa Flavell’s Private Member’s bill being drawn from the ballot.

The Oaths and Declarations (Upholding the Treaty of Waitangi) Amendment Bill would give a person taking any oath set out in statute the option, in addition to the words of the oath, of stating that they will uphold the Treaty of Waitangi.

“This principle recognises that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document, and the Crown is committed to fulfilling its obligations as a Treaty partner,” said Mr Flavell.

“The Treaty is a fundamental basis of our identity not only as Maori but as a nation and people who hold public office should not be deprived of recognising that,” he said.

The Maori Party has been lobbying for legislation to recognise the Treaty in statutory oaths and declarations since July 2006.

“The Maori Party is proud that we were the first party to take the Parliamentary Oath of Allegiance in te reo rangatira – on 27 July 2004, when Tariana Turia was sworn in as MP for Te Tai Hauauru and Co-leader of the Maori Party. This is now an established part of parliamentary protocol,” said Mr Flavell.

My Private Members Bill will insert the optional additional words “I will uphold the Treaty of Waitangi” or “Ka whakaūngia e au te Tiriti o Waitangi” across a range of oaths and affirmations.

“This Bill was submitted the day after Waitangi Day this year, and it has been drawn just as the nation considers the place of the Treaty in our constitution,” he said.

ENDS

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