Brash: PM needs to be honest about tribal govt plan

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should front up to the people of New Zealand about what has and has not been decided on a plan for two governments in New Zealand, one for Maori and one for everyone else, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.

Today, ACT leader David Seymour revealed that a Cabinet Paper has been drafted about the next steps on He Puapua, a Cabinet-commissioned report which aims to give effect to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Yesterday, the New Zealand Herald reported that Ardern said that "the report put forward has been received by the Minister but has not gone before Cabinet and does not necessarily represent the views of Cabinet."

Today, Seymour said that written questions to Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson confirm that he received three papers last month including a draft Cabinet Paper for feedback.  

He also said that Health Minister Andrew Little is claiming that the Maori Health Authority had nothing to do with He Puapua when the submission to the UN says the Maori Health Authority and Maori Wards are examples of “practices and initiatives either already underway or to be established that can support the attainment of self-determination consistent with the Declaration.”

Either the Prime Minister is unaware of what is going on in front of her in Cabinet or she is aware and is not telling it as it is, Dr Brash said.

A plan for two governments in New Zealand, one for Maori and one for everyone else, monitored by a tribal committee, is a major constitutional change that can’t be sneaked into existence, Dr Brash said.

An open, honest Prime Minister should at least be straight with the people she represents, Dr Brash said.