The Māori Party says Labour has abandoned Māori again with their announcement today that the Labour Party will oppose the Point England Enabling Bill, which would allow Ngāti Paoa to regain ownership and control of significant customary land at Te Tauoma.
“This week the leader of Labour relegates all his Māori MPs off the party list to avoid their humiliation of being named at the bottom of it, and today the Labour Party denies Ngāti Paoa their right to settle part of their treaty claims through the Pt England Enabling Bill.”
“It is a betrayal of the support that Māori have given to Labour and our people of the Tamaki Mākaurau electorate and all other electorates need to remember this come September 23,” says Māori Party Co-Leader, Te Ururoa Flavell.
“An independent Māori voice that advances rather than denies the interests of iwi is what is needed. I am appalled that Labour can do this to Ngāti Paoa and the Māori Party will be supporting this important treaty settlement bill through all its stages in the House,” says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.
“We tautoko the sentiments expressed by Ngāti Paoa representatives today that the view of Labour regarding their opposition to the bill on the grounds of being ‘duped’ are ‘supremely patronising’, and we couldn’t agree with them more that Labour’s ‘condescending attitude reflects poorly on its proponents,” says Ms Fox.
“NZ First opposes all treaty settlements too, but that’s to be expected from Winston Peters. Labour has now joined the ranks of those parties who will deny us our treaty redress rights and the Māori Party stands in solidarity today with Ngāti Paoa to see that justice will be done for them.”
“We agree with Ngāti Paoa that opposing the bill pits the Labour Party against mana whenua of Auckland. Having been so generous in their contribution toward the development of the modern world class city that Auckland’s citizens enjoy today, is a slap in the face for mana whenua. That Labour would sacrifice Māori yet again to win marginal votes in Auckland is just plain kino,” says Mr Flavell.
“Particularly given the housing shortage in Auckland, Labour’s opposition is especially abhorrent. For Labour to bemoan the housing crisis for Auckland, and then deny iwi an opportunity to play a part in sorting the issues of housing shortages through plans to develop on their whenua, just shows how desperate Labour is to govern at the expense of our people.”