Māori to be consulted first on controversial co-governance report

Source: 1News

The Government will consult with Māori first about the controversial He Puapua report before they create a declaration plan that will go to the wider public next year, 1 NEWS understands.

Executive director of the Māori Council, Matthew Tukaki, said shared decision-making would be top of the list in such discussions.

“If we have a look at the RMA, for example, and the three bits of legislation coming down the line, it's about having equal say in how our lands, how our waterways, our taonga, our flora, our fauna are managed.”  

Everything is on the table but there are no promises with issues like a Māori upper parliament and entrenching the Māori seats still hot topics.

“There is an argument for more Māori seats in the New Zealand parliament,” Tukaki said.

Tukaki added the Waitangi Tribunal have plenty to offer to discussions as well.

“There’s endless recommendations come from the Waitangi Tribunal,” he said.

“We've had reports upon reports sit on shelves.”

The He Puapua report has already sparked fierce criticism from some quarters, but one of the country's leading legal academics says all New Zealanders have a responsibility to engage in the conversation.

Auckland University professor Dr David Williams told 1 NEWS non-Māori engagement with the report is vital though.

“The usual pakeha response is either silence or rejection of any proposals as separatism,” Williams said.

“I think it's really important that we look at these conversations in a more clear-minded way.”

The Government set to reveal the next stages of its process after the He Puapua report sparked fierce criticism from some.