Opinion: Greens have turned back on Treaty

Opinion: Greens have turned back on Treaty

By unconditionally supporting the Kermadec ocean sanctuary proposal, the Green Party is turning its back on the Treaty of Waitangi and its own Te Tiriti policy.

The Greens have always been a strong voice on Treaty issues and like to publicise that fact.

But its current support of the Kermadec legislation, which walks all over Māori rights, is a slap in the face for all its past rhetoric.

In fact, it's hypocritical.

Remember the water rights debate during the asset sales saga? The Greens said "the Key Government's rush to sell assets does not justify it ignoring its Treaty obligations".

Remember that private members bill that would stop Māori land confiscations under the Public Works Act? The bill will "stop any more unfair confiscations of what is left of whenua Māori".

Remember co-leader Metiria Turei's Ratana speech a few years ago about how proud she was of the Green Party's Māori policies? "We in the Green Party deeply believe in the benefits of honouring the Treaty," she said.

Or the Greens saying it opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership because "the damage it could do to Māori rights and the Māori economy".

Just take a look at the party's current policies. The Greens are riding roughshod over them by ignoring Māori rights in the Kermadecs:

Has the Green Party just been giving lip service to Māori issues in the past?

It looks like a case of talk-the-talk but not walk-the-walk.

The Kermadec sanctuary is a prime example of how Māori priorities are taking a back seat.

The saga must be a kick in the guts for Green MP Marama Davidson who has been such a champion on Māori issues.

It must be a hard pill for her to swallow.

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