8 Aug 2011

Mana Party wants independent Waitangi Commission

9:31 pm on 8 August 2011

The Mana Party wants a Treaty of Waitangi Commission to be set up that would be independent of the Crown.

Details were given at the party's first annual general meeting at Piringatahi marae in Auckland over the weekend.

Mana wants a Treaty of Waitangi Commission to oversee the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Co-vice chair Annette Sykes says the current Treaty settlement process is not working on two levels: between Maori and the Crown, and the distribution of benefits to the people from corporate arms of iwi.

She says the commission would be independent of the Crown, and Maori would vote for a commissioner at the general election, who would act as an independent arbiter.

Ms Sykes says, at the moment, wealthy corporate iwi do not ensure that their tribal members benefit.

The party also announced at the weekend it would contest all seven Maori seats and will put up candidates in some general electorates. The candidates are still to be decided.

The Maori Party says it has been proposing a having Parliamentary Commissioner for the Treaty of Waitangi since 2004.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says it seems as though the Mana Party has adopted a similar policy to its own.