Where do the parties stand on a colour-blind NZ?

The election campaign has started and the political parties have published their policies. What follows is where Labour, National, Green, ACT, NZ First, New Conservative, and the Maori Party stand on Hobson’s Pledge issues.

Labour’s plan for Maori over the next three years is to:

  • Grow Maori job opportunities through the Maori Employment Package to work in partnership with iwi and Maori to help grow opportunities in the regions,
  • Boost Whanau Ora to continue to deliver the support whanau need on the ground and in the communities that need it most,
  • Support Kohanga Reo, to ensure kaiako are paid fairly and facilities are in good condition. 

Most of the section Labour’s plan for Maori was about its Maori Covid-19 response. There was also a reminder that the Coalition Government set up the Office for Maori Crown Relations - Te Arawhiti to oversee work with Maori in a post Treaty settlement era. See https://www.labour.org.nz/maori

The National Party website looks like its policies are for everyone irrespective of ethnicity. There is no apparent sign of any special “for Maori” categories on the policy section of the party’s website. See https://www.national.org.nz/policy

The Green Party of Aotearoa (they do not use the term “New Zealand”) has a Maori policy according to which:

  • The Maori parliamentary seats would be entrenched,
  • Kaitiakitanga and mana whenua land rights would be recognised and supported,
  • The Maori economy would be regarded as essential to New Zealand’s overall prosperity,
  • The Government would support Māori approaches to health and education,
  • Tikanga Maori approaches to justice would be expanded.

See https://www.greens.org.nz/kaupapa_maori

The ACT Party promotes equality before the law regardless of race, sexuality or religion. ACT would remove the Maori seats, which they regard as anachronistic and offensive to the principle of equal citizenship. Māori New Zealanders have shown they can be elected to Parliament in general electorates or on party lists without assistance. See https://www.act.org.nz/a_more_democratic_country

New Zealand First appears to have stepped away from promoting a referendum on Maori seats. Such a referendum was a big deal in 2017 and many voters were dismayed that Winston Peters did nothing about it as part of the Coalition Government. There is no apparent sign of any special “for Maori” categories on the policy section of the party’s website. https://www.nzfirst.nz/our_policies

The New Conservative Party has an extensive Treaty of Waitangi policy which would:

  • repeal race-based co-governance arrangements,
  • repeal any requirement for race-based consultation from the Resource Management Act,
  • disestablish the anachronistic Maori electorates,
  • disestablish the Waitangi Tribunal and negotiate any historic settlements still in progress directly with the Crown,
  • set a deadline to end Treaty settlements,
  • remove reference to “the principles” of the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation,
  • repeal the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to return ownership of the coastal and marine area to everyone, held in trust by the government,
  • review all race-based funding to ensure that funding is based on need not ethnicity,
  • protect and fund the teaching of Maori language and culture making it available, but not compulsory. See https://www.newconservative.org.nz/treaty-of-waitangi-policy

The Maori Party, that was tipped out of Parliament in 2017, wants to get back in on a policy of increasing existing funding for Maori-led groups and advance a Maori claim to ownership of fresh water. There appears to be no policy on colonial statues, which is surprising since co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer made a big deal about them during the Black Lives Matter protests. The Maori Party says:

  • All government funding for projects, Maori-led recovery projects, and Covid-19 recovery projects, over the next two years would guarantee 25 percent Maori direct resourcing,
  • 25 percent direct resourcing towards the Maori workforce and Maori businesses and services would be guaranteed,
  • Legal barriers to build on papakainga and increase the building partnerships amongst Maori, hapu and whanau collectives would be removed,
  • Maori proprietary, customary, and decision-making rights and interests to freshwater would be acknowledged,
  • A dedicated $1 billion Pungao Auaha fund for Maori-owned community energy projects and solar panel and insulation installations on marae, kura, homes and papakainga housing developments would be established,
  • A $300 million Matai Ahuwhenua innovation and support fund to incentivise Maori farmers to transition to regenerative and value-add farming practises would be established.

Neither National nor ACT spelt out their policies more fully on their websites.

Our coastal petition is growing

Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 24,841 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all Even if you have signed, you may follow the link to ask your social media friends to sign to.

What’s happening with Ihumatao?

Fletcher Building appear crippled by a Maori claim and government inaction over private land at Ihumatao earmarked for housing. Our petition for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business has collected 3058 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

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