22 Jan 2024

Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership a 'misinterpretation', David Seymour believes

4:32 pm on 22 January 2024
ACT leader David Seymour leaving National Party leader Christopher Luxon's house on 21 November, 2023.

David Seymour Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

ACT party leader David Seymour says his party does not regard Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a partnership between Māori and the Crown.

More than 10,000 people gathered at Tūrangawaewae Marae on Saturday, issuing a united call against proposed reforms.

David Seymour told Midday Report he believed Te Tiriti o Waitangi was a founding document, but the idea that it is a partnership is based on a misinterpretation.

"It is a document that founds New Zealand as a country, where in Article 1 the government has the right to govern, in Article 2 we each have the right to tino rangatiratanga - the right to flourish in self-chosen ways - and in Article 3 we all have nga tikanga katoa rite tahi, or the same."

Lawyer and environmentalist Dayle Takitimu of Te Whānau Ā Apanui provided in-depth context for attendees at the national hui aa iwi before they attended a series of workshops focused on priority areas for Māori. Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the proposed reforms was one of those forums.

In her speech, Takitimu accused the government of racism and being "treaty illiterate".

Seymour said he disagreed with the comments, and planned to continue his advancement of reforms for "benefit of all New Zealanders".

He said he looked forward to participating in further debate when he attended Waitangi celebrations next month.

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