Maori Party welcomes Waitangi Tribunal report   8 Dec 2014

The Maori Party

Maori Party welcomes Waitangi Tribunal report

Maori Party Co-leader, Marama Fox, has welcomed the Waitangi Tribunal's latest report as a positive attempt at applying the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People to a contemporary issue [WAI 2417; Whaia te mana motuhake; in pursuit of Mana Motuhake].

"The Maori Party appreciates the efforts made by the Waitangi Tribunal to be guided by Treaty principles as well as the Declaration articles, in looking at the workings of the Maori Community Development Act and the administration of the Maori Warden's Project. We believe such an approach can only enhance the constitutional conversations we must have as Maori and the Crown".

"The Maori Party is proud that in 2010, the Government's support for the UN Declaration was a key initiative to restore New Zealand's mana in addressing indigenous rights" said Mrs Fox. "In announcing the decision to overturn the former Labour Government's failure to endorse indigenous rights, former Maori Party leader, Dr Pita Sharples had told the UN Permanent Forum that the Declaration sets standards for all nations to aspire to".

"The application of the UN Declaration as a tool to understand the Crown's obligations in the specific circumstances of this case is a particularly useful innovation" said Mrs Fox. "We would support any efforts that the Crown might make for collaboration with the Maori wardens, in finding an acceptable pathway forward".

Background

In September 2007 New Zealand was one of four countries that voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. On 19 April 2010 Dr Pita Sharples overturned this decision, in affirming the UNDRIP at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. The WAI 262 Tribunal later described UNDRIP as 'perhaps the most important international instrument ever for Maori people'.

 

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