November 01, 2023
Treaty poll could spark protest
The outgoing Māori-Crown Relations Minister says Māori can expect a fight under the new National-led Government – and Labour will have their backs.
Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says the Labour Government was plagued an extraordinary set of challenges, including the Covid pandemic, and in the end people voted for change, regardless of what it might look like.
He says from what was said on the campaign trail, it will be Maori who will bear the brunt of most of that change, including the prospect of a referendum on the Treaty of Waitangi.
Changes to the treaty would require the informed consent of the descendants of those who signed.
“Just to unilaterally declare you are going to make changes to something that is as fundamental to our country as the principles of te tiriti or te tiriti itself is just asking for an argument and I think Maori have to really prepare ourselves for a bit of a protest,” he says.
Kelvin Davis says he’s ruling himself out as a future Labour leader.