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He Puapua Needs Some Sunlight

“The Prime Minister is patronising New Zealanders when she says the He Puapua report shouldn't have been released in case taxpayers didn't understand it," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"ACT has revealed that a Cabinet Paper has been drafted about the next steps on He Puapua, a Cabinet-commissioned report which aims to give effect to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

He Puapua represents a significant and serious departure from the idea that all New Zealanders are equal before the law.

“ACT first raised concerns about the He Puapua in Parliament last month. Now Written Questions to Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson confirm that he received three papers last month including a draft Cabinet Paper for feedback.

“The Prime Minister has batted away questions about He Puapua calling legitimate Opposition questions ‘politics’ but that’s clearly not the case. Our Written Questions show Willie Jackson met with the head of the working group last month.

ACT can also reveal that a submission to the United Nations in August said New Zealand is “commitment to a Declaration plan to implement the Declaration’s objectives and goals” and being one of the first countries to do this.

“We can also reveal that it appears the Government didn’t want you know about the He Puapua Report. It was only made available after the Ombudsman became involved. So much for the most open and transparent Government ever.

"Jacinda Ardern even told Parliament this afternoon it should have been withheld in case New Zealanders didn't understand it.

“Now Andrew Little is claiming that the Māori Health Authority had nothing to do with He Puapua when the submission to the UN says the Māori Health Authority and Māori Wards are examples of “practices and initiatives either already underway or to be established that can support the attainment of self-determination consistent with the Declaration.”

“If we’re going to have a constitutional conversation it needs to be out in the open and not hidden the shadows, Jacinda Ardern seems intent on keeping any sunlight away from this important issue.

“ACT exists to have honest conversations about difficult issues like this and to unite New Zealanders behind good ideas.”

The Written Questions from Hon Willie Jackson can be found here. And here.

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