Māori MPs warn fast-track protests foreshadow 'hikois from hell' over Treaty Principles Bill

Two of the coalition's Māori MPs are defending the Government's planned fast-track legislation, just days after tens of thousands of people marched in protest against it.

ACT's Karen Chhour and National MP Dana Kirkpatrick were taking part in a political debate on The Hui.

Kirkpatrick told The Hui host Julian Wilcox that iwi, hapu and post-settlement governance entities were queuing up with projects they wanted fast-tracked.

"They know they have projects they want to get moving. They want to do it because they want to put money into their social investment arms. They want to deliver for their people, they want jobs, they want apprenticeships. And they know that the fast-track legislation will get them there."

Kirkpatrick declined a suggestion by Labour MP Willie Jackson that she hang her head in shame. "I don't think I'll be doing that."

She was backed up by Chhour who said the consenting process was currently costing $1.3 billion every year.

"It shouldn't take longer to consent than actually to build."

Opposition MPs roundly condemned the Bill, listing the potential negative impacts to the taiao of legislation that prioritised economic benefits over environmental concerns.

Green MP Tamatha Paul said the protests were a symptom of people feeling the Government was not listening to them. She pointed to comments by Shane Jones, one of the Ministers who will have the final decision on fast-tracked projects.

"One of these ministers brags about native species going extinct, brags openly about that."

She said her generation would not stand by and "let them destroy our environment, destroy our chances at living on this planet, destroy our species that we will never see again".

And she warned that the protests seen last weekend when 20,000 people marched down Auckland's Queen Street would pale into insignificance to the protests that would be mounted when the proposed Treaty Principles Bill was introduced.

"When the Treaty Principles Bill comes out, we will have hikois from hell. Like it will be next level."

Te Pāti Māori MP Takuta Ferris said the protests in Queen Street on Saturday and around the country on Budget Day were an indication of the clear dissatisfaction Māori felt about the coalition Government's approach.

"Te iwi Māori understand what the Government's attitude is. And when they showed up, stood up in every community around this country, it is a clear indication that they are not happy. They're not a happy Tiriti partner. The Government's not a good Tiriti partner and we need stronger accountability for Governments going forward."

Labour's Jackson said while he doesn't support the idea of a separate Māori Parliament, he understands the frustration that has led to one being suggested.

He supports instead Tā Mason Durie's recent publication about the need for a Taumata or Māori Congress which would make Māori MPs more accountable.

"Problem is, we've got 33 Māori MPs now. We've got seven electorate MPs and we've got 26 who are not accountable, directly accountable to their people."

Jackson said the idea of a separate Māori Parliament confuses people.

"I think a Congress, a strong congress that brings iwi and urban authorities, and NGOs together. I think that's a better idea."