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June 1, 2014 | by  | in Features |
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Ngā Roopū Tōrangapu

Ngā Patai:
1. Why should tauira Māori vote for your party?
2. What will your party do to increase voter turnout come 20 September?
3. Should Te Tiriti o Waitangi be incorporated in a written constitution for Aotearoa?
4. What do you see the most important issue to be in New Zealand in the next 10 years and why?

NATIONAL PARTY
1. In government, National is delivering results for Māori. National is committed to ensuring Māori and all New Zealanders can enjoy a successful and more prosperous future. We share important values: supporting strong families and communities, encouraging personal responsibility, and promoting enterprise and wealth creation.

The country is heading in the right direction, and we’re proud to part of a government which has made real, positive differences for Māori across many areas and measures.

The early-childhood education participation rate for Māori in 2013 was 92.3 per cent – up 1.4 per cent from 2012; and 58.6 per cent of Māori students left school with at least NCEA Level 2. This is up from 44.4 per cent in 2008. More and more Māori are now gaining tertiary qualifications under National.

Young Māori are being immunised against childhood illnesses at an unprecedented rate – 90 per cent of Māori children are now immunised by their second birthday, compared to just 59 per cent in 2007.

While there are more jobs out there, and we’re seeing increasing numbers of people move off welfare and into work, the Government is continuing to support those families who need it. We are spending more on healthier homes, with $100 million to expand home insulation.

Since the National government of the 1990s started the Treaty settlement process, 69 deeds of settlement have been signed, and our Government has signed 43 of these in the past five years (Labour averaged 1.6 per year). Settlements allow iwi to create an economic base for their members, allowing them to fully participate in the economic life of their communities.

We repealed Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act which had extinguished the right to test customary land rights in Court.

2. National supports robust participation in our democracy and encourages all eligible voters to have their say on Election Day..

Our Māori Caucus will be working hard to maintain a strong presence in Māori media and communities to talk about National’s positive record for Māori.

3. This is a conversation it is important to have, which is why National instituted the Constitution Conversation – a wide-ranging review of constitutional arrangements – as part of its confidence-and-supply agreement in government with the Māori Party.

The Constitutional Advisory Panel which facilitated the conversation canvassed the role of Te Tiriti/the Treaty, as well as the role of international human-rights instruments in our constitutional arrangements. It, unsurprisingly, found a range of opinions on these matters. Its report can read here: http://www.ourconstitution.org.nz/Latest-News.

National supports the Panel’s conclusion that the nation should continue its conversation on these important issues.

4.Māori economic development through Treaty settlements and better use of Māori land.

The completion of historical Treaty settlements and an increased role for iwi in their local communities, following the examples of Ngāi Tahu and Waikato Tainui.

Addressing poverty through increasing economic growth, and increasing the housing supply to bring down house prices.

Diversifying our labour force, creating more highly skilled workers – this is critical for building a more competitive and productive economy.

GREEN PARTY
1. The Green Party seeks a future where tikanga is respected and enabled, racism is eliminated, and the negative impacts of colonisation are healed, creating a healthy society where everyone thrives. Te Reo should be available in all schools as a step towards building a genuinely bicultural nation.

We are committed to reducing poverty, building warm, dry, affordable homes, and creating meaningful jobs based on a living wage.

A healthy environment and a healthy people are inseparable. The Greens will clean up our waterways, so whānau can safely swim and collect food from them.

By giving their party vote to the Greens, Māori will have more Green MPs in Parliament, all committed to Te Tiriti and supporting rangatiratanga.

2. Voters want to see themselves reflected in Parliament; to have strong advocates for whānau and the whenua. The Green Party puts whānau and whenua at the heart of our work, and we hope that inspires people to Party Vote Green.

To that end, we’ll be doing everything to encourage people to get out and vote and to give their party vote to the Greens.

We’ve got our strongest campaign organisation ever for this year’s election. Green MPs like Metiria Turei, David Clendon and Denise Roche will be supporting a team of knowledgeable, articulate and passionate new Green candidates, such as Marama Davidson, Jack McDonald and Dora Langsbury.

3. The Green Party affirms that Te Tiriti o Waitangi remains a living and fundamental constitutional document.

We do not have a fixed position on Te Tititi being enshrined in a written constitution, and support full dialogue between the Tiriti parties to agree how the Tiriti relationship would best be given effect in a new constitutional arrangement.

We acknowledge Te Reo Māori version of Te Tiriti as the legitimate text of an agreement setting out the respective rights and responsibilities of hapu and the Crown, giving the Crown the right to kawanatanga, while affirming tino rangatiratanga of iwi and hapu.

4. The Greens consider inequality and climate change to be critical issues facing both New Zealand and the world in the next ten years.

The global ecosystem and economy are inextricably linked, and the impact of unrestrained climate change will be economically and socially devastating, increasing the gap between rich and poor.

As a relatively rich country, we have an obligation to do everything we can to both improve wages and benefits, housing and educational quality and take a global leadership role in emissions reduction.

The Green Party is the only party to show true leadership on these issues so that our children will not have to bear the full burden.

MAORI PARTY
1. We believe that what is good for Māori is good for the nation. We want to ensure our mokopuna grow up to lead – not to react to the system. Transformation starts in the home: we want every child to be well-nurtured, physically, culturally, spiritually, mentally. We want rangatahi to be well-educated, have access to training and achieve a decent job with a living wage. We focus on whānau wellbeing in every sense – including eliminating social hazards such as gambling harm and promoting drug and alcohol reform. We want to keep our land pure, our economy thriving and support whānau to determine their own future.

2. Māori turnout at the last election [48 per cent] was extremely low. The two-vote system (electorate and party vote) and the increased competition of the Māori vote has increased the significance of the Māori vote to carry the balance of power. We need to promote the message that every vote is worthwhile and that voting is a key marker of participation in our society.   Māori should be automatically entered on to the Māori Roll at the age of 18 (with an option to transfer to the General Roll if required). How can we work together to mobilise and inspire voters to understand their voting power?

3. The Māori Party reinforces the statement in New Zealand’s constitution – a report on a conversation ‘He Kotuinga Korero mo te kaupapa Ture o Aotearoa’ that Te Tiriti is the original legal basis for the right to live in this country; and as such we believe it should be incorporated into our constitution. The Māori Party negotiated in a Relationship Accord with the National Party in 2008 and 2011 to progress the review of our constitutional arrangements.  We also support a national strategy for civics and citizenship education in schools and in the community as the basis for a more enduring relationship.

4. There is no issue of greater importance than to ensure our people are heard and supported to be proud of who they are. We need a government to work with us to create employment, stop hunger and homelessness, ensure all our children have access to a great education, and ensure all our whānau have access to quality health services. The Māori Party can guarantee that whatever party gets the majority vote, we will work with them to make your voice heard. Our emphasis is on achieving Influence With Integrity.

MANA PARTY
1. MANA advocates for free tertiary education – and a return to student-fee-funded Māori student rōpū and Māori student voices on institutional councils to help make this a reality. We’re also advocating for living allowances and better sector funding to ensure students receive a world-class, quality education. Another priority is to remove the PBRF research-funding model and replace with one that is fair and equitable, including for Māori. In addition, MANA is calling for an overhaul of the wider education system to boost participation and quality in kōhanga reo and ensure tamariki can attend a quality kura in their local area.

2. A key priority for MANA for the upcoming election is to change the government. To do this, we need to mobilise the 800,000 voters who didn’t vote in 2011, and particularly young Māori. Māori voter turnout is the game-changer. MANA has entered into a strategic alliance with the Internet Party, and one of the key reasons for doing so is that both parties are strongly committed to the ‘Get Out the Vote Campaign’ to sign people up to vote and ensure they cast a vote. This will include technological innovations and on-the-ground efforts including ‘ka koi’ to polling booths.

3. Rather than incorporated, the position of MANA is that Te Tiriti o Waitangi should be the starting point of our constitution. This would require a transformation of our current constitutional arrangements which merely (and barely) acknowledge the Treaty of Waitangi and ignore Te Tiriti o Waitangi altogether. MANA advocates for the need for new constitutional arrangements to be developed that are of this place, for this place, and that start with and flow from Te Tiriti o Waitangi and He Whakaputanga o Ngā Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni. Anything less is another breach.

4. It’s got to be the elimination of inequality and poverty, especially child poverty, which have increased under National over the last six years – with Māori the hardest hit. It’s a huge task and will involve a committed and properly funded programme to create widespread employment, raise the minimum wage to a living wage, address the rental-housing crisis, provide free healthcare for all, fund what works to raise school achievement including small classes, culturally relevant learning, and food in schools – and a new tax regime to pay for it, including taxing the wealth/profits of the super-rich which currently aren’t taxed at all.

LABOUR PARTY
1. Labour wants to encourage more young people to vote. Over half of the Maori population is under 40 years of age and the issues that most affect this generation will influence the direction that our country is heading. We believe that fairness and belonging to a caring society means that no matter what your background, everyone can reap the benefits from a good education. For Maori students affordability of tertiary education is a huge issue and Labour is proud of a track record that addressed those cost pressures for the setting of course fees, broadening access to the student allowance scheme, incentivising subject and professional degree courses and supporting student voice through compulsory student unions.

Importantly we believe that Aotearoa/NZ is a better country when all our young people thrive which is why supporting a quality public education system at all levels really matters.

In addition to our current strong Maori Caucus speaking up for all students – tauira can look forward to Labour’s up and coming inspiring young Maori leaders and candidates for the 2014 election: Tamati Coffey, Rawiri Waititi, Willow-Jean Prime, Arena Williams. Our up and coming young Maori leaders will be working hard with our current Maori Caucus and MPs to continue the work paved by the many Maori leaders, to ensure the future is bright for Maori and for all New Zealanders.

2. Labour believes that this election is one where there are some very clear choices;
– National believes in selling state assets for a short term gain where Labour believes in holding on to them for long term benefit
– National believes in selling off state houses where Labour believes in building more to provide affordable housing options
– National believes that educational success for young learners is about passing tests where Labour believes that education should also encourage creativity and innovation
– National measures our health system in dollars where Labour wants one that cares for people and considers the cost

Labour has a very simple message for voters at this election we need a country where everyone benefits not just the few at the top and most of all we need political leadership that puts peoples’ needs first.

3. Labour believes that as the founding document for our country it’s important to continue the serious conversation about our constitutional arrangements. We are proud of our track record in this space to establish the Waitangi Tribunal, ensure that claims could go back to 1840, initiate Treaty clauses in legislation, provide for the statutory recognition of te Reo Maori. Labour is committed to honouring the obligations the Treaty imposes upon the government and recognises that more can be done to advance the constitutional and legislative agenda.

4. New Zealand deserves a big vision and for Labour the way in which we seek to transform our economy to reverse inequality and poverty is one worth putting our hand up for. To achieve that for Maori we would highlight a number of challenges and there are several.

The status of Maori in NZ where population growth and diversity is changing the face of New Zealand, the health and wellbeing of the Maori population, leveraging opportunity from the Maori economy to contribute to our countries prosperity, rapidly advancing a sustainable growth agenda where our people and resources can benefit at mutually comparable rates, security in retirement for our kaumatua and ageing population, world class wages in relation to the cost of living, opportunity through accelerated education, skills training pathways so every young person can lead a productive life, quality food and water security where NZ is able to maintain its 100% pure advantage.

At the end of the day our whanau want a better life here in NZ rather than in Australia. That’s something worth voting for.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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