He Puapua is not the way forward for New Zealand

The Government has tried to down play Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson’s announcement today as a simple consultation process, but in truth it is an indication of what is to come, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“Minister Jackson has called the He Puapua report a ‘starting point’ and ‘catalyst’ which is concerning given how far the document goes towards a future of an increasingly divided New Zealand.

“The National Party stands for equal citizenship for all. We must be one people underneath the law despite all of our diversity. We will not support a system of co-governance that undermines our democracy and treats people differently based on ethnicity.

“Questions of constitution are not simply a conversation to be had between Māori and the Crown. New Zealand is not made up of just Pākehā and Māori. We are multi-cultural and all of us have a stake in this country.

“I challenge Minister Jackson to extend his consultation on these matters to all New Zealanders so this can be something all New Zealanders contribute to. By making this a matter for Māori alone, he is fostering more division.

“This Government continues to forge a path for New Zealand that the majority do not want for this country. They are determined to make our differing skin colours and ethnicities more important than all of the things we have in common.

“My vision, and the vision of the National Party, is one where New Zealanders are moving together towards a more prosperous future; all 200+ ethnicities who call New Zealand home.

“We acknowledge the wrongs of the past must be righted and believe that the best way for the Government to address inequality is to address the issues themselves. That means getting houses built, ensuring equal access to health care, education, and employment, and ensuring access to rehabilitation to end cycles of crime and violence.

“National is looking to the future with this in mind. With solutions based on need and aspirations for all.”