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Māori Constitutional Working Group Encourages Distinction



4 August 2011

Independent Māori Constitutional Working Group Encourages Distinction

Following the Crown’s announcement today, Chair of the Independent Māori Constitutional Working Group Moana Jackson encourages Māori to note the distinction between the two reviews being conducted.

The Independent Working Group is convened by Professor Margaret Mutu (Ngāti Kahu) and its Chairperson is Moana Jackson (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāti Porou). Members of the Working Group have been nominated by Iwi and also include members co-opted for their expertise or to represent particular interests such as Urban Māori Authorities.

“It works quite independently of the Constitutional Review proposed by the Crown and will attempt to initially promote widespread discussion among all Māori over the next twelve months followed by wider community sector discussion says” Mr Jackson.

Constitutional issues have always been on the Maori agenda. At a meeting of Iwi Leaders at Hopu Hopu in 2009 the matter was discussed further and a decision was made early last year to convene an Independent Working Group on the matter.

Unlike the Crown review, the independent one has as the baseline for its work the ideas that if Te Tiriti is the “founding document”, as so many say it is, then we will need to consider what sort of constitution might be founded upon it.

“The issue is not how the Treaty might fit into a constitution but how a constitution might be based upon the Treaty,” says Mr Jackson.


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