“Labour is putting the Treaty at the centre of everything, but is the Treaty at the heart of Labour? The Labour Party constitution is 113 pages, but it mentions treaty only three times. It says that the Treaty should be honoured, but it doesn’t say how. Even the ACT Party constitution acknowledges the Treaty,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Labour Party says ‘All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage…’ It sounds like the Labour Party believes in one person, one vote. Where is the commitment to the voice of the Treaty Partner. Where is the place for partnership and co-governance in the Labour Party?

“The closest Labour comes to giving the Treaty practical effect is in list selection for Māori, but it sensibly puts this clause below the requirement of gender equality, and above the need for Pacific representation. In the Party organisation, there is no representative of the Treaty partner equivalent to what we’ll see on, say three waters governance boards, healthcare, or resource management decision making. So far as Labour’s concerned, the Treaty is an afterthought.

“The Labour Party is imposing a structure of co-governance in healthcare, three waters, and education that it would not put in its own constitution. That’s because it knows reserving some spots for a Treaty Partner is undemocratic.

“ACT opposes co-Governance and supports the democratic principles laid out in the current Labour Party constitution. However, if Labour want to impose a model of co-Governance on every other institution in New Zealand, shouldn’t they at least try it out on their own organisation first?"

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