NZ's lack of action on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
MEDIA STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18 July 2016
Iwi Māori have taken the government to task about their lack of implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Members of the Monitoring Mechanism, an independent working group of the National Iwi Chairs Forum recently tabled their second report with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a UN body compromising 5 experts on indigenous peoples’ rights that meets annually in Geneva.
“Our report focused on Māori participation in decision making and looked at three specific case studies - local government, the Treaty claims settlement process and the Trans-Pacific partnership Agreement,” says Professor Margaret Mutu the chair of the Monitoring Mechanism. “The report highlights the failings of the government to engage with Māori. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples affirms the right of Māori to engage in decisions that affect them - the New Zealand government has yet to seriously consider what this means in the context of local government, the Treaty claims settlement process and their obligations when negotiating international agreements.”
The report of the Monitoring Mechanism was well received by the experts of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as Indigenous peoples’ representatives and some states.