Plans are afoot to progressively disrupt our constitutional arrangements and replace our democracy with a revolutionary Treaty-based constitution giving a small group of New Zealanders, claiming to represent the 17 percent of the population with Māori heritage, 50 percent of the decision-making power, and control of the vast economic resources that would accompany such a role.
‘He Puapua - the Report of the Working Group on a Plan to Realise the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Aotearoa/New Zealand’ - a document commissioned by Cabinet in 2019, was finally released in full last month, following an OIA request. He Puapua is a road map to implement the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It proposes separate Māori authority across multiple layers of government and discusses constitutional change, such as a Māori Parliament. It also includes other just as radical proposals, among them:
- the transfer of significant powers to Māori to make bylaws and authorise activities relating to the ownership and control of public resources;
- delegating government powers across the resource management and conservation spectrum to Māori – including all Resource Management decision-making;
- significantly increased return of Crown lands and waters to Māori ownership in addition to Treaty settlements;
- Māori ownership of foreshore and seabed;
- provisions to make co-governance and co-management of freshwater bodies compulsory;
- Māori to receive royalties for the use of particular resources such as water, petroleum and minerals;
- separate Māori court and justice systems;
- public education programmes across all sectors, including conscious and subconscious bias training, to deal with structural racism.
He Puapua points out that considerable resourcing and capacity building will be required if Māori are to exercise governance power. The Crown’s main contribution will be resourcing, suggesting “there are multiple streams from which financial contributions might be sourced, including, for example, levies on resource use where Māori have a strong claim to ownership, such as water.” (p.31)
For a clear idea of all that is being envisaged, we suggest you read the report. NZCPR has made it available to the public. Please click HERE.
It would be wrong to believe the scenario envisioned by He Puapua couldn’t happen in New Zealand. Many parts are already being implemented by the Government – for example, exempting some Māori land from rates, establishing Māori wards, giving Māori greater rights under the RMA, a new history curriculum, and the impending Māori Health Authority - with veto powers over decisions being made on behalf of the rest of us!
BUT WHAT CAN WE DO?
- Read He Puapua. Suggest others do likewise.
- Also, encourage your MP to read the report. Ask for his/her opinion on the recommended roadmap for NZ. All MP email addresses can be found HERE. Likewise, your local body councillors. Everybody in power should read this report.
- Contact the Prime Minister. Ask her about the Government’s plans to implement the report’s recommendations.
- Share your concerns with National and Act MPs. Urge them to campaign against the implementation of the recommendations in this report.
- Sign the petition to stop two-government tribal rule, hosted by Hobson’s Pledge: Reject co-governance petition - Hobson's Pledge (hobsonspledge.nz)
- Sign the Declaration of Equality, hosted by NZCPR. “There shall be one law for all: We call for the removal of all references to the Treaty of Waitangi or its principles from any constitutional document, and for the abolition of the Waitangi Tribunal, race-based Parliamentary seats, and race-based local body representation”
Opinion pieces well worth a read:
- Graham Adams: Democracy Project: Ardern in the gun over He Puapua
- Chris Trotter: Bowalley Road: A Break In The Wave: Giving Effect To The UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples In Aotearoa/New Zealand.
- Peter Williams: Plans for a co-governed New Zealand you should be concerned about
- Muriel Newman: The End of Democracy and The Final Step to Separatism
- David Seymour: Govt Must Reject He Puapua
It has taken a while, but the National Party has finally responded to He Puapua. See NZ Herald coverage: National urges Government response on 'two systems' He Puapua report