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Ngāi Tahu Representation Bill would have been a step forward

The Green Party is disappointed that the Ngāi Tahu Representation Bill to increase tangata whenua representation on the Canterbury Regional Council was voted down at first reading today, says Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson.

“While tangata whenua have guaranteed political rights on a national level, representation is often lacking or non-existent in local government. This does not always make for robust decision making and in the past has led to significant breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” Marama Davidson said.

“Local governments are willing and ready to take this step forward in giving Māori a guaranteed voice in their rohe. We’ve seen similar models being adopted by councils around the country, and we saw it in Hastings last week.”

“Ngāi Tahu having representation on Canterbury Regional Council is a good step toward embodying the Treaty partnership at a local level. Ngāi Tahu have a right to tino rangatiratanga as indigenous people in Aotearoa.”

“The Green Party is founded on the principals of peace, of environmental and social justice, and a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We wholeheartedly support this Bill that would have given Ngāi Tahu guaranteed representation on the Canterbury Regional Council.”

“We are very disappointed it did not receive support from the whole House,” Marama Davidson said.