February 15, 2023
Nats tout treaty scholarship
National Party deputy leader Nicola Willis says leader Chris Luxon’s description of the Treaty of Waitangi as a “little experiment” was fair.
The comment during his speech at Waitangi was widely criticised, with people feeling it belittled the importance of the event.
But Ms Willis says people need to read the whole speech, which was carefully thought out description of what the crown and iwi leaders may have been trying to achieve.
“It was a new approach to say we can give the crown some sovereign authority, and yes we will maintain rangatiratanga over our taonga and yes we will have equal rights of citizenship, and that was special and new. That was what Chris was conveying and I think we should be proud as a country that the basis of the treaty is something special,” she says.
Ms Willis says while treaty commitments have been breached in the past, successive governments both National and Labour are trying to right the wrongs through settlements.