Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson, says the first of two steps in the engagement process to develop a Declaration Plan for Aotearoa New Zealand has been taken.
The Minister said the government had been provided with valuable feedback to help with drafting a Declaration Plan that will then be released for broader consultation.
“Almost 70 targeted engagement workshops were held mainly online. Māori rōpū represented diverse groups ranging from iwi, hapū, tāngata whaikaha Māori (disability community) and rangatahi, to groups interested in health, education, and the environment,” said Mr Jackson.
He said the drafting of the Declaration Plan will now commence and will be undertaken in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s Pou Tikanga and the Human Rights Commission over the next couple of months before being shared for public consultation later this year.
“All New Zealanders will get the chance to comment on the range of actions proposed in the draft Declaration Plan. There is already a lot of mahi across Government underway that is consistent with UNDRIP, but having a plan sets a roadmap of actions to steadily work towards and measure progress against.”
“As stated previously, He Puapua is not the Declaration Plan, nor is it Government policy. Reports like He Puapua and Matike Mai are part of a long history of reports on addressing Indigenous rights in Aotearoa and should be seen in that context.
“The Declaration Plan will not just be about co-governance either. In fact the feedback has been that there are many ways we can strengthen indigenous rights and achieve better outcomes for all that aren’t about governance at all.
“We’ve already made positive strides to improve Māori health and housing outcomes and as a Government we are focused on what works and what will fix the issues important to Māori, so the plan needs be practical.
“For example there are some innovative iwi-led housing initiatives which are making a huge difference in communities and the revitalisation of te reo Māori is another area this Government has supported which aligns with UNDRIP.
“We’ve seen how Māori-led solutions to COVID-19 have been successful, including in improving vaccination rates and providing food supplies to our most vulnerable, and the Māori Health Authority will have an ongoing role in reducing poorer health outcomes for Māori.
“Working in partnership on a Declaration Plan that strives for a more equitable reality for all whānau and communities is an important kaupapa which I believe New Zealanders will be proud to be a part of,” Mr Jackson said.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007 and supported by NZ in 2010. It includes a broad range of rights and freedoms. NZ is committed to improving Māori outcomes and is developing a Declaration plan to measure our progress in addressing Indigenous rights.
Read more on the Te Puni Kōkiri website.
There were 12 key themes from the Māori targeted engagement covering areas such as rangatiratanga, participation in government, equity and fairness. It ran from Sept 2021 to Feb 2022 and some engagement is ongoing.