29 Sep 2020

Māori Party promises to establish Māori Parliament

10:01 am on 29 September 2020

The Māori Party would set up a separate Māori Parliament among other constitutional changes as outlined in its Mana Motuhake policy.

Co-leader of the Māori Party, John Tamihere.

Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere. Photo: RNZ

Party co-leader John Tamihere announced the policy, which focuses on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, this morning at Waitangi.

The Māori Party would:

  • Establish a Māori Parliament
  • Register all Māori to the Māori Electoral Roll, and ensure Māori can switch between the Māori and general roll at any time
  • Implement constitutional change in line with the 2016 Matike Mai report, encouraging discussion between Māori leadership groups
  • Return conservation land to iwi, including camping grounds
  • Establish a Waitangi Parliamentary Commissioner to be jointly appointed by tangata whenua and the Crown
  • Entrench the Māori electoral seats
  • Reduce party vote threshold to 2.5 percent
  • End "full and final" settlements and "large natural groupings", ensuring smaller hapū and iwi can have rights recognised
  • Waitangi Tribunal Recommendations to be binding on the Crown
  • Insert relativity clauses into all settlements to ensure all iwi have parity with Ngāi Tahu and Tainui
  • Remove racist provision that allows for local council decisions to establish Māori wards

Tamihere said it was a 25-year strategy, and the party's policies were aiming to break Māori out of welfare dependency and build a Māori middle class.

"We must move from poverty to employment. Only we Māori can bring that change," he said.

Documents released along with the policy said the party would "look toward a Republic" to ensure the Treaty is embedded in the Bill

of Rights.

"We all want what was contracted for in Treaty to be delivered," Tamihere said. "Our policies are designed by Māori for Māori to Māori."

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