Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has released today the feedback from the first phase of targeted engagement with Māori on developing a plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in New Zealand and work will now commence on the next step of drafting a Declaration Plan for consultation.
The previous National Government signed UNDRIP in 2010 and committed to developing a Declaration Plan. New Zealand is one of 148 countries that support UNDRIP.
“We’ve now completed the first stage of the two-step engagement process to develop a Declaration Plan. This has provided us with valuable feedback to help with drafting a Declaration Plan that we will then take out to wider consultation,” Willie Jackson said.
“Almost 70 targeted engagement workshops were held mainly online. Māori rōpū represented diverse groups ranging from iwi, hapū, tāngata whaikaha Māori (disability community) and rangatahi, to groups interested in health, education, and the environment.
“The drafting of the Declaration Plan will now commence and will be undertaken in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s Pou Tikanga and the Human Rights Commission over the next couple of months before being shared for public consultation later this year.
“All New Zealanders will get the chance to comment on the range of actions proposed in the draft Declaration Plan. There is already a lot of mahi across Government underway that is consistent with UNDRIP, but having a plan sets a roadmap of actions to steadily work towards and measure progress against.
“As stated previously, He Puapua is not the Declaration Plan, nor is it Government policy. Reports like He Puapua and Matike Mai are part of a long history of reports on addressing Indigenous rights in Aotearoa and should be seen in that context.
“The Declaration Plan will not just be about co-governance either. In fact the feedback has been that there are many ways we can strengthen indigenous rights and achieve better outcomes for all that aren’t about governance at all.
“We’ve already made positive strides to improve Māori health and housing outcomes and as a Government we are focused on what works and what will fix the issues important to Māori, so the plan needs be practical.
“For example there are some innovative iwi-led housing initiatives which are making a huge difference in communities and the revitalisation of te reo Māori is another area this Government has supported which aligns with UNDRIP.
“We’ve seen how Māori-led solutions to COVID-19 have been successful, including in improving vaccination rates and providing food supplies to our most vulnerable, and the Māori Health Authority will have an ongoing role in reducing poorer health outcomes for Māori.
“Working in partnership on a Declaration Plan that strives for a more equitable reality for all whānau and communities is an important kaupapa which I believe New Zealanders will be proud to be a part of,” Willie Jackson said.