Newshub Nation: Lady Tureiti Moxon says ACT's referendum on Treaty of Waitangi misguided

Despite no agreement yet, ACT, National, and New Zealand First appear to be getting closer to inking a coalition deal, five weeks post-election.

Newshub understands one sticking point could be ACT's policy to hold a national referendum to redefine the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.

Incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon told The Hui before the election that such a referendum would be "divisive and not helpful".

Joining Newshub Nation on Saturday, lawyer and chair of the National Urban Māori Authority, Lady Tureiti Moxon, agreed with Luxon.

She said a referendum is "totally unnecessary" because the principles are already defined - including partnership, participation, and protection which "came out of the [Ngāi Tahu] land claim in 1987".

Since then, further Waitangi Tribunal claims have given rise to more principles, such as the guarantee of rangatiratanga, Lady Tureiti added.

One of ACT's three devised principles reads "all New Zealanders are equal under the law, with the same rights and duties".

But Lady Tureiti said ACT's proposals say nothing about the established principles.

"What they're [ACT is] saying is that we're all equal. We're all on the same playing field, and we all have the same opportunities," she said.

"We know that's not true."

And it's not up to politicians to decide either.

"What we need here in Aotearoa isn't another referendum, or a whole group of people who don't understand what Te Tiriti jurisprudence means," Lady Tureiti said.

"We need to be listening to the experts within our court system."

She told host Simon Shepherd that policies from past Governments "have been very detrimental to Māori" and legislation "has always supported the status quo".

"This is a partnership, remember."


Watch the full interview above.

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Public Interest Journalism funded through Irirangi Te Motu / NZ On Air.