As we approach the election there's a relatively even split between the parties' policies on the introduction of compulsory te reo Māori in schools. When it comes to Māori representation in Parliament - New Zealand First and ACT are outliers.
More policy at a glance:
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Teaching te reo Māori in schools:
Under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Government is required to support te reo Māori as a taonga (treasure).
Here’s what the parties would do:
Labour wants te reo Māori offered in all secondary schools, but it does not support it being a compulsory measure.
ACT supports school choice, so it opposes compulsory Te Reo, however some schools established under ACT's charter school legislation have a te ao Māori (Māori world) focus.
National and New Zealand First do not support making Te Reo compulsory.
Māori representation in Parliament:
There are seven dedicated seats for Māori in Parliament and 232,193 people were enrolled on the Māori roll as of July 31, 2017. Voters who are on the Māori role vote for candidates in the Māori electorates, but choose from the same parties as the general roll for the party vote.
Here are the parties' stances on Māori seats:
The Green Party wants to entrench the seats so they could only be removed with backing from 75 percent of Parliament. Read the Green Party's policy.
NZ First would hold a referendum on whether Māori seats should be abolished. Read NZ First's policy.
Labour has ruled out a referendum on Māori seats - even if it was a bottom line on a deal with NZ First.
Bill English said National does not have any plans to remove the Māori seats, and any decision to do so should be made by Māori. The party made it an election policy to get rid of the seats going into the 2008 election - but it never happened after a confidence and supply agreement was formed with the Māori Party.
The Māori Party would retain the seats and make a provision that only Māori could decide if and when they wanted to remove them. Read the Maori Party's policy.
ACT opposes Māori seats, as it lives by the 'one law for all' principal, but it doesn't support a referendum on them.
TOP's only bottom line is to reject working with any party that proposes to remove Māori seats.
Most political parties have further election policies that are specific to Māori issues. Labour has a housing policy that aims to give Māori the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori. The Greens have a detailed Māori issues policy that includes the introduction of tikanga and Te Reo programmes in all prisons and youth justice centres. The Māori Party has broad policies with specific points for Māori, including establishing a Minister for Māori and Pacific Housing.