13 Jun 2012

Descendant of Treaty signatory bemoans lack of consultation

9:49 am on 13 June 2012

The Government is being accused of mistreating Maori by not holding widespread consultation with iwi about plans to relocate the Treaty of Waitangi document.

Minister of Internal Affairs Chris Tremain confirmed on Tuesday that the document will be moved from Wellington's Archives New Zealand building next year.

It will be housed at the newly-refurbished National Library on Molesworth Street in Wellington.

The Government says there was consultation with the local iwi Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, the Maori party and Te Komiti Maori - a Maori steering group at the National Library.

But Philip Taueki, a direct descendant of lower North Island Muaupoko chief Tauheke who signed the Treaty, says the Crown should have expanded its consultation to all iwi.

He says the Government did not talk to him before the decision to re-house the Treaty was made.

Mr Taueki says every time there is a major issue with tangata whenua the Crown picks and chooses who it consults, which he says is reinforcing the mistreatment of Maori.

Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain believes the Government has done a good job of consulting with Maori and believes it would be extremely difficult to consult with all descendants of the document's signatories.

He says the relocation is about putting the Treaty in a facility that better preserves the document, as well as selecting a good place for people to see it.