May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

What’s a constitution have to do with the Treaty?

2 min read

(Waatea News) The convenor of a Maori constitutional planning group says the Treaty of Waitangi will be the foundation for whatever it put up.

The group of lawyers and academics met in Auckland on the weekend to start developing a collective response on behalf of 50 iwi to the Government’s review led by Pita Sharples and Bill English.

Moana Jackson says many Maori have little understanding of what a constitution is, but most have a good understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi.

I said to the meeting on Saturday if you ask Maori to set their top ten priorities, the constitution wouldnt be in the top 10 so we are aware of that and part of the reason for the working group is to nut out how we can best do that, how we can stimulate discussion, because after all it is a treaty-based discussion, Mr Jackson says.
The constitutional review includes the place of the treaty of Waitangi, as well as issues such as the term of parliament, the number of MPs and the future of the Maori seats.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says New Zealand is browning up and the time is right to honour the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Government has finally set the scope for the constitutional review agreed to in the support agreement with the Maori Party.

Mrs Turia says it gives Maori a chance to push for a constitution underpinned by the Treaty.

Generally our people are ready for this conversation and I think the rest of New Zealand is ready. We are always going to have people of the ilk of the Coastal Coalition and the ACT Party and others who still believe in white rule. The fact is we are browning up as a country, really important that we move forward together in trusting relationships with one another to act in the best interests of all of us who are part this land, she says.
Mrs Turia says the Crown got the governance it wanted under the treaty, but Maori didn’t get the rangatiratanga they were after.

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