28 Apr 2021

Decision on Treaty of Waitangi in National Party constitution up to members - Judith Collins

From Morning Report, 7:28 am on 28 April 2021

Judith Collins says she's leaving the decision on whether to include the Treaty of Waitangi in the National Party constitution up to members.

Newshub reported on Wednesday the review into the National Party's election performance had recommended appointing board members alongside elected members to reflect diversity, embedding the Treaty of Waitangi into the party constitution and standing in the Māori seats.

Collins told Morning Report the scaled back report on the review had been released to members of the National Party ahead of the regional conferences beginning this weekend.

"Nobody would have would have thought that sending it out to thousands of people by email was suddenly going to be something secret."

She said decisions on what to adopt from the report would be left up to the members.

"What the party agrees around the Treaty of Waitangi, that is entirely up to the members. I will be making, obviously, my views known to the party but especially my view is that the party is a democratic party, I will listen to its members."

Maori health organisation and "separatism"

Morning Report host Corin Dann asked Collins if her comments last week around the proposed Māori health agency were at odds with the recommendations of the report, but she said she would stand against what she believes is separatism.

The Health Minister Andrew Little last week announced a national health body to replace DHBs, and a specific Māori Health Authority.

"It is not actually an issue of race, there is nothing in being Māori that intrinsically makes anyone more in need in the health system," she said.

Collins said the party would not agree to similar actions in education or justice either.

"It is important that we have solutions that work in communities, but they will not be based on someone's ethnicity."