October 13, 2023
Jones defends bilingual Treaty of Waitangi
New Zealand First Northland candidate Shane Jones says whatever the outcome of the election, it marks the end of efforts by elements in Labour to insert a new version of the Treaty of Waitangi into New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.
He says New Zealand’s falling out with its former coalition partner came because of the commissioning by former Maori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta of He Puapua, a paper on how New Zealand could give effect to the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples.
While her successor Willie Jackson seems to have kicked the report into touch, some of its ideas, including only acknowledging Te Tiriti or the Maori language version of the Treaty of Waitangi, seem to have been widely adopted in official circles .
Mr Jones says since the passing of the Treaty of Waitangi Act in 1975, New Zealand has had a bicultural route for understanding and implementing the treaty.
“I’ve got no time for this unpicking of the treaty by just focusing on one version. And perhaps most egregiously for me , I just don’t see the relevance of the doctrine of Indigenous rights. I see our rights flowing, such as they are, from the treaty which created an indivisible whole, it created a new reality after the treaty was signed,” he says.
Shane Jones says separating the treaty from its historic moorings won’t advance Maori interests.