Ko tēnei te wā kia whakatika. The time is now to right past wrongs and return land wrongly taken from Māori to Māori, so whānau and whenua can thrive.
Returning land to tangata whenua is the right thing to do to address the ongoing injustices that Māori experience. Aotearoa can be a place where active kaitiakitanga led by tangata whenua guides our relationship with te taiao, ensuring our tūpuna whenua, awa, and maunga are cared for.
The Aotearoa we know today has been built off of Māori land, much of which was wrongly taken through breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi over the last 183 years.
Since 1975, the Crown has acknowledged there needs to be a pathway for the restitution of these breaches. There have now been over 120 Treaty Settlements negotiated between iwi and hapū with the Crown.
However, these agreements require deep compromises from iwi and hapū. They do not achieve Tiriti justice.
As Aotearoa approaches the 185-year anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the 50-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi Act, the time is now to reflect on next steps to ensure the promise of Te Tiriti is honoured and wrongs are put right.
In the next term of Parliament, the Green Party will take steps to fix the approach to redress – to ensure it is based in honouring Te Tiriti and fully restoring the harms of the past. We will:
- Establish a Commission of Inquiry into the full extent of land dispossession and adequacy of redress, tasked with making recommendations on future pathways for return of wrongfully taken land back to iwi, hapū, and whānau.
- Abolish the 2008 deadline to lodge new claims and evidence for historical breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, allowing hapu and whānau to progress additional historic claims through the Waitangi Tribunal.
- Reinstate the ability for the Waitangi Tribunal to make recommendations in relation to privately owned land.
- Amend the Public Works Act to prevent whenua Māori being taken in future and provide a clear path for the return of land previously taken.
- End perpetual leases and restore full land rights for owners.
Through honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and restoring the relationship between with tangata whenua, the Crown, and tauiwi, Aotearoa New Zealand can be a place where all people can thrive.
Ko tēnei te wā kia whakatika.