ACT can reveal new information on He Puapua:
• Ombudsman forced the Government to release He Puapua report
• Government said in March “New Zealand is committed to being among the first states to create a plan to implement the Declaration”
• A Government Cabinet paper has been drafted to progress He Puapua
• Willie Jackson met with the Chair of the Declaration Working Group last month.
ACT has revealed that a Cabinet paper has been drafted to progress He Puapua, a Cabinet-commissioned report which aims to give effect to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
He Puapua represents a significant and serious departure from the idea that all New Zealanders are equal before the law.
ACT first raised concerns about the He Puapua in Parliament last month. Now questions to Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson confirm that he received three papers last month including a draft Cabinet paper. The Prime Minister has batted away questions about He Puapua calling legitimate Opposition questions ‘politics’ but that’s clearly not the case.
Our questions show Willie Jackson met with the head of the working group last month.
ACT can also reveal that a submission to the United Nations in August said “New Zealand is committed to being among the first states to create a plan to implement the Declaration”.
We can also reveal that it appears the Government didn’t want you know about the He Puapua Report. It was only made available after the Ombudsman became involved. So much for the most open and transparent Government ever.
Jacinda Ardern even told Parliament this afternoon it should have been withheld in case New Zealanders didn’t understand it. How patronising.
Now Andrew Little is claiming that the Māori Health Authority had nothing to do with He Puapua when the submission to the UN says the Māori Health Authority and Māori Wards are examples of “initiatives [which are] consistent with the Declaration.”
If we’re going to have a constitutional conversation it needs to be out in the open and not hidden the shadows, Jacinda Ardern seems intent on keeping any sunlight away from this important issue. ACT exists to have honest conversations about difficult issues like this and to unite New Zealanders behind good ideas.