Time for NZ Govnerment to walk its talk

by August 21, 2007

The United Nations released a report that focuses in on the rights of Maori and the conduct of the New Zealand Government towards them. Among several issues raised, the UN expressed concerns over a bill that aims to remove references to all principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and also calls for the government to ‘renew’ the dialogue over the Foreshore and Seabed Act: a law passed in 2004 in which the government granted itself exclusive title to the foreshore and Seabed of New Zealand.

The issue with the Foreshore and Seabed act is one worth noting a little further. Since atleast 1840 the Iwi and Hapu have claimed the foreshore and seabed as part of their land—but the government, instead of acting with reason and integrity, simply ignored them and just claimed all the land for themselves. This matter in particular gave birth to the Maori Party.

It’s interesting to see the governments response to the report, as noted below. You know truth is spoken when….

From the New Zealand Herald – The UN’s sober statements have been met by a combination of support and criticism, with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters particularly scathing about the report’s contents.

A bill to delete the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi from statutes is a New Zealand First initiative, and the UN did not like it.

Mr Peters said the report was “meddlesome” and its authors were not experts on the issues they were dealing with.

“If they can tell me what the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are then perhaps they can set them out in the report,” he said.

“I bet you any money you like they can’t, so perhaps they should not try to address an issue to which they do not have the answer.” (source)

Further Reading
Tino Rangatiratanga and the Treaty of Waitangi
News archive about the Foreshore and Seabed Act
The UN Concluding Observations on New Zealand