MEDIA RELEASE - 1 December 2023
The new National, ACT and New Zealand First co-governance government has set its sights firmly on removing Māori rights, judging from their coalition agreements. The new government’s first joint announcement included that they would remove the Māori Health Authority, Māori wards in local government, Māori involvement in the governance of natural resources, Māori language in government departments, the right of Māori children to be kept in their own whānau, government services being delivered to Māori, Smokefree New Zealand, the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal, and Māori rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The ACT party leader, David Seymour, campaigned on abolishing the treaty, saying to Moana Maniapoto that recognising the human rights of Indigenous Peoples as the first peoples of the land, which Te Tiriti o Waitangi does for Māori, must be stopped.
“Mr Seymour forgets that there are two parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori and the Crown – and the Crown does not represent Māori – it is instead the other signatory to Te Tiriti and the treaty partner of Māori. And the Māori Party will be the constant reminder in parliament of that reality.” says Professor Margaret Mutu of Ngāti Kahu and Te Kahu o Taonui, Te Tai Tokerau Iwi Chairs Collective.
“The new government has launched an unashamedly racist assault on Māori that has already drawn very strong condemnation from Māori leaders, not only in Te Taitokerau but throughout the country. Such attacks deliberately embolden their White supremacists supporters to use hate speech and encourage hostility against Māori. The coalition agreements show this government will not stop hate speech. It is not only divisive, it is also dangerous. If the government carries out its threats against Māori, iwi of Te Taitokerau are clear that we will fight them – in the courts, on the streets, in the media, on social media and on every platform we can access. A sensible and wise government would sit down and talk to its treaty partner rather than unilaterally removing our hard-won legal rights, and we invite this government to do so.”
For further information:
Professor Margaret Mutu
Ngāti Kahu representative for Te Kahu o Taonui (Te Tai Tokerau Iwi Chairs Collective)
Phone: 021 241 9650