From a national hui of iwi held in February, a Working Group on Constitutional Transformation has been brought together by Professor Margaret Mutu and Moana Jackson and met over the past weekend at Waipapa Marae at the University of Auckland.
The purpose of the group is to engage with Maori and to work on developing a model constitution for our country based on Maori kawa and tikanga, He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The group have agreed that the process must be “for Maori, by Maori” and that they will issue an invitation to meet with the Government once a satisfactory model has been agreed to by Maori.
Professor Mutu states “The group is aware that the Crown has recently instigated a ‘Constitutional Review’. We have made it clear that the Crown is not in a position to speak for M?ori on this matter. M?ori debate on the constitution has been with us for at least several decades now and a lot of work has already been done. It is great to think that we already have a solid foundation by which to base our response from.”
Convenor of the group, Moana Jackson, adds “We are asking that our people bring with them their thoughts and ideas about what they believe our tipuna anticipated when they agreed to He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti. It requires our people to think about what kawa and tikanga our tipuna lived by and how we might be able to give a voice to those belief systems via a constitution. It also involves asking our people to “Think outside the Westminster System” and imagine a world that appreciates Maori processes and values”.
For further information please contact:
Professor Margaret Mutu: 021 2419650
Moana Jackson: 04 5676270