Treaty of Waitangi
UnitedFuture recognises the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of New Zealand and believes it still has an important role to play. The Treaty provides the framework for a unique relationship between tangata whenua and the many other people of diverse cultures who make New Zealand their home. UnitedFuture is committed to addressing Treaty of Waitangi issues in a way that benefits everyone and believes that the first step is the fair and reasonable settlement of legitimate Treaty grievances. This needs to be accompanied by a process which will lead to our achieving together a common understanding of the future role of the Treaty in our nation.
The Claims Settlement Process
UnitedFuture supports the current process of resolving genuine historical Treaty grievances. While there has been considerable progress towards the resolution of the many claims that have been lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal, we believe this process needs to be completed as soon as possible. We therefore seek to commit the government to a goal of settling all existing historical claims by 2014.
It is UnitedFuture policy to:
- Establish a new national day on which all New Zealanders celebrate the unique gift we possess by being part of this nation. This will be separate from Waitangi Day, which will also be retained and celebrated.
- Commit to the goal of 2014 for the settlement of outstanding historical grievances, and resource the claims process to ensure that this becomes a reality.
- Ensure that settlements fit within the norms of a modern liberal democratic society – i.e. they should not give one class of citizens’ greater rights than others but should recognize the unique place that hapü, whänau and iwi have had in our country.
- Ensure that settlements with iwi and other large natural groupings recognise hapü and whänau structures where appropriate.
- Ensure that, as a pre-requisite to treaty settlements, robust governance structures are established by iwi and urban trusts for the long term benefit of the recipients.
- Work with Maori to phase-out separate Maori seats in Parliament by 2014 to give effect to the recommendation in the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System.