Friday 15 March 2024

"There will not be any more generic open-ended Treaty clauses."

Cartoon by Nick Kim 

"The growth of Treaty of Waitangi clauses in legislation caused so much worry that a special oversight group was set up by the last government in a bid to get greater coherence in the public service on Treaty matters.
When ministers first considered the need for tighter oversight in 2021, there were at least 50 known Treaty clauses in legislation with about 14 variations in their description of the Crown’s obligations as a Treaty partner.
    "With a growing number of references to the Treaty in legislation and a growing variety of references, it was clearly becoming a legal quagmire for the constitutional relationship between the Crown and Māori. ...
    "[These will be looked at in] the New Zealand First-driven review of existing Treaty principles in legislation later this term.
But what will be left of any new Treaty clauses to monitor is an open question because of a radical direction the coalition Government is taking already, ahead of the review.
    "It is no longer putting general Treaty clauses in legislation. ...
    "The [new] Fast-Track Approvals Bill ... did not have a general clause. 'But leaving out a general Treaty clause is not a one-off,' says New Zealand First’s Regional Development Minister Shane Jones ... 'There will be no more general Treaty clauses in any new legislation,' he said.
    “'If you look at the sentiment in the coalition agreement, it should come as no surprise to anyone that there is not and will not be any more generic open-ended Treaty clauses.'
    "'That would apply to all [new] legislation'."
~ Audrey Young from her column 'No more Treaty clause 'mission creep''

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