The Green Party is celebrating the passage of a Bill that will require coroners to consider Māori protocols, which had its first reading in Parliament last night.
The Coroners (Access to Body of Dead Person) Amendment Bill was drafted by Justice Minister Andrew Little to implement a recommendation in the Māori Affairs Select Committee inquiry into whānau access to and management of tūpāpaku (deceased bodies).
The inquiry came about as result of advocacy from former Green Co-leader Metiria Turei and then was driven by Marama Davidson when she was elected as an MP and took on the Māori Development portfolio.
“I’m incredibly proud that the work we initiated and drove at select committee has brought about this Bill, which will make a real difference for whānau,” said Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson.
“The Bill implements a real policy win for the Greens, and I congratulate Minister Andrew Little for showing leadership on progressing these recommendations.
“It addresses one of the most important aspects of our inquiry which is ensure whānau can stay with their loved one’s tūpāpaku,
“This will help ensure that people have the opportunity to farewell and honour their loved ones in a way that upholds their culture, and tikanga Māori.
“While many coroners already consider cultural protocols, this will ensure it is consistent across the country and that will help families from all cultural backgrounds, not just Māori.
“It is a testament to the consensual work of all parties that this Bill passed first reading with unanimous support,” said Ms Davidson.