Monday, 5 July 2021

National should do the right thing on UNDRIP


“The National Party should take a stand against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), even if it has to reverse its previous position,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Judith Collins is correct when she says that Labour is the major culprit here for commissioning the He Puapua report, but Labour was empowered to do so by National signing the UNDRIP.

“If National wants to send a major signal it would be to stand with ACT and line up to renounce it.

“Collins might just find that her own MPs agree with ACT’s position.

“Frontbench MP National MP Todd McClay wrote for the Spinoff in 2018: “But the truth is that these agreements are designed in order to have an effect. We agree with Bookman here, countries are expected to uphold their commitments and courts have an obligation to assess the commitment countries make when deciding cases. Other “non-binding” United Nations documents have already been imported into our domestic law as courts rightly point out that the Government committed to acting consistently with these documents. Examples such as the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a declaration we chose to support, was meant to be simply affirming a set of principles but has already crept into the way we interpret the law in New Zealand. Similar cases have emerged across the world with such documents as well."

“Helen Clark refused to sign up and we’re now calling on Jacinda Ardern to follow her lead and renounce it.

“If we really are having a constitutional conversation about He Puapua, why not converse with all New Zealanders? How can a segregated consultation be accepted as conclusive?  

“New Zealand is now clearly at a crossroads brought about by the Key Government’s naïve signing of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Either New Zealand is to be a liberal democracy where all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, or a kind of ethno-state where some are born more equal than others.

“It is time the National Party realises its mistake, and the Labour Party recovers its former position on both UN Declarations.”