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Government responses leave more questions than answers

The Māori Party acknowledges Minister Mahuta’s response to Wai 262 on behalf of the government issued a few days ago, but says a worrying pattern is emerging with respect to government responses to Waitangi Tribunal recommendations. Che Wilson, Māori Party President says, “While we acknowledge the leadership taken by Nanaia to get a formal response agreed to Wai 262, we hear only radio silence from the Government on the Tribunal’s recommendations regarding freshwater and health. Both of those reports were issued recently, and so far nothing. Not a single statement from Peeni, Willie, or any of the other Māori MPs in government,” he says.

The Māori Party agrees the recommendations of the Tribunal in respect of water rights, health and intellectual property issues. ”We are watching with interest and implore the government to adequately and appropriately deal with the recommendations,” says Che Wilson, President of the Māori Party. “What is required is action. Rhetoric and empty talk is just that and too often the government is missing in action on Māori issues.”

“The number of Māori MPs in this parliamentary term suggests there should be sufficient numbers to action the Tribunal’s recommendations. A swift and courageous response from government is required now that they have the numbers we never had. We therefore challenge all 32 MPs of Māori descent to use their positions to fight collectively for Māori rights. But if the Party lines of Labour, National, the Greens, NZ First and Act will silence that collective voice, it begs the question about how much of a Māori voice there really is, despite the high numbers of Māori MPs”, he says.

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