|Deletion of Principles of Treaty of Waitangi Act|
|Written by Steven Young|
|Monday, 13 August 2007|
Page 1 of 2
To the Justice and Electoral Committee
The New Zealand Chinese Association was
established in 1935 with its own building in
We wish to appear before the Committee to speak to our submission.
The postal address of the New Zealand Chinese Association is:
New Zealand Chinese Association Inc
The contact person for this submission is Steven Young who may be contacted as follows:
Telephone: 04 384 4665
Fax 04 384 4800
Mobile 021 932 352
WE OPPOSE THE INTENT OF THIS BILL BECAUSE:
1. The premise on which the Bill is based is incorrect.
2. The Bill seeks to delete the words “the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” from all legislation because it is claimed these words are either undefined or ill-defined. While these words may not have been defined in legislation they have been defined by various judgements of the Court of Appeal and by reports of the Waitangi Tribunal.
3. If the Legislature, Parliament, believes that these principles are not adequately defined by the Judiciary, it should improve their definition, not try to eliminate the principles of the Treaty by eliminating these words from legislation.
4. Also, it is not clear that eliminating the words “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” from legislation, as proposed in the Bill, will stop the principles of the Treaty from being applied: the judgments of the Court of Appeal stand, as do the reports of the Waitangi Tribunal, and these carry considerable weight and in some cases have binding effect on the Executive.
5. The Bill is fundamentally unconstitutional, likely to be confusing, ineffective and highly divisive. If passed, the Act would cause a constitutional crisis and promote intense social unrest.
6. The Bill seems to be
an attempt at the denial, erasure or forced forgetting of
THE ASSOCIATION FURTHER SUBMITS THAT:
7. While the promotion
of the Bill reflects concern over a range of issues including the role of Maori
and other ethnicities in
8. The current Treaty
discourse has had the unintentional effect of making members of the public feel
excluded from discussions whose outcomes have a serious impact on
9. Many ethnic New
Zealanders, including the Chinese believe the attention and concern over Maori
issues detract from the recognition of their own issues or even the place of
ethnic New Zealanders in the wider
10. From the above, two important concerns arise:
11. Many Chinese in
12. The way forward must
be through methods that encourage alliance and agreement and not division. Safe
and independent forums are needed for constructive debate not only on Treaty/Maori
issues but also on race relations issues and
13. The Government should take a lead on this as well as communities. It is important that white New Zealanders as the dominant group should be engaged in this process so that the problem is not seen as a Maori/ethnic problem.
14. The Government should take the lead on initiatives that encourage cross-community activities. This involves not just talking but creating opportunities for active engagement with each other on common goals that have real outcomes. (The Association’s Branches plan to embark on a number of such cross-community projects which would be helped along greatly by Government support.).
16. Within our community there are concerns that the Treaty of Waitangi will, by future piecemeal legislation, be conferred with influence that sets the tone for the nation’s broader direction. While respecting the legal rights embodied in the Treaty, issues relating to the nation’s broad direction should be the subject of open debate – with the aim of agreeing a direction that reflects the country’s bi-national founding and bi-cultural development, and increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-cultural reality and future.
KAI S. LUEY
END OF SUBMISSION
|Last Updated ( Monday, 13 August 2007 )|
|< Prev||Next >|