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Maori Authority Warns Government On Fast Track Legislation

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has warned a Parliamentary Select Committee that fast-tracking legislation is a perilous practice that undermines the core tenets of democracy, transparency, and accountability. While there may be instances where urgent action is necessary, such as in times of national crisis, the routine use of fast-tracking erodes the very foundations of good governance. Instead, policymakers should prioritize a deliberative and inclusive approach to lawmaking, one that respects the principles of democracy and upholds the trust and participation of citizens. Only through careful consideration and open dialogue can legislation truly serve the public interest and advance the common good. 

"My point is we are not in a national crisis, we are in a state of fear brought about by the narrative of politicians who should not be trusted with untested and unfettered powers whereby they get to decide, unchecked by the judiciary, projects that could have significant adverse effects to New Zealand, our economy, our reputation, our agreements in terms of trade with other nations, our signature to various international conventions and so on." Tukaki has said

Tukaki has also warned that tardy legislation has caused significant issues before. He says, "Point I have stood against fast tracking legislation before such as during COVID19 and legislation being introduced that would have allowed warrantless searches of Marae – in that case the Government of the day removed that clause but issued a warning that Maori should be careful what we wish for. My point at the time was also understanding both the intended an unintended consequence of such legislating. For example, in this case the Government is seeking to enable economic development while ignoring a potentially unintended series of consequences ranging from impacts to the environment and species right through to the usurping of the judiciary, in this case a clear example of mining companies withdrawing from legal proceedings potentially expecting to get around previous rulings by the courts. This is very dangerous territory and no Government should wield such power – these matters are in addition the potential expunging of Maori interest and rights, including that of already tested proprietary interests and rights."

Submission to the Select Committee considering legislation in respect of fast tracking: Fast-track Approvals Bill

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