5 Feb 2021

Waitangi 2021: Māori Greens announce 6 priorities for Te Ao Maori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi

7:48 pm on 5 February 2021

The Green Party Māori caucus today outlined and affirmed their commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and their visions and aspirations for Aotearoa.

Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson spoke about her party's six priorities for te ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Waitangi beach. Photo: RNZ / Jogai Bhatt

On the shore of Waitangi beach, Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson spoke about the six priorities her party "wants to focus on and work with tangata whenua to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi".

She said it was important to clarify and affirm the party's focus on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the party was proud to include the values and aspirations of the treaty into their policies.

The six priorities include a response to family violence, sexual violence, and homelessness that was driven by tangata whenua.

The party also said they would ensure, "whānau, hapū and iwi are key in decisions that affect them".

The Green Party said they would be committed to creating an independent Māori health authority led by their health spokesperson Elizabeth Kerekere.

Davidson acknowledged the party would protect the rights of takatāpui, including the trans, non-binary, and intersex community.

Kerekere said abolishing conversion therapy needed to be prioritised.

"There is no excuse, we've seen over Covid that decisions can be made fast in Parliament if that's the political will".

Meanwhile, the prime minister said she wanted legislation banning gay conversion therapy to be introduced into Parliament this year.

In the lead up to last year's election, Labour promised to ban the practice that aims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ardern said officials were working on the policy and would be consulting rainbow communities over the coming months.

She said conversion therapy was very harmful and the government had an obligation to address this.

The Green Party was also committed to upholding the importance of kaitiakitanga and that this was carried out by iwi Māori among their rohe.

"We will continue to centre the rights and responsibilities of Māori as kaitiaki in all of the work that we do," Davidson said.

This focused particularly on whenua, moana and awa.

From left, Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono, co-leader Marama Davidson and MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere at Waitangi 5 February 2021.

From left, Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono, Marama Davidson and MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere. Photo: RNZ / Jogai Bhatt

The Mataki Mai report which acknowledges constitutional change and transformation and Aotearoa was also a part of the party's priorities.

The report was developed by Professor Margaret Mutu and Dr Moana Jackson in 2016 and aims to introduce a new political system.

The system would prioritise a partnership between Māori and the government when sharing power, responsibilities, and decision making for social policy and resources.

Davidson said the report "offers our country a blueprint for how we live together in a way that benefits our mokopuna and our generations to come and te tai ao and Papatuānuku".

The party's first Green and spokesperson for education MP Teanau Tuiono, would in addition to the six priorities, lead an education response focused on Mātauranga Māori.

It would uphold the expertise and knowledge of Mātauranga Māori as an enduring solution to the challenges and crisis being faced.

When it came to upholding the visions and agreements of Te Tiriti, Tuiono said: "The focus is on tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake."

Engagement and a response to the many hui and calls by the community was needed, Tuiono said.

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