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Dr Muriel Newman critiques race-based privilege included in the Fast-track Approvals Bill 

Summarised by Centrist

Dr Muriel Newman raises the red flag on the Fast-Track Approvals Bill, which stipulates that up to four people can be appointed, and it specifies two of these positions – one must be nominated by “iwi authorities” and another by “local authorities”. 

She says: “While it is appropriate that iwi, along with all other groups that may have an interest in a project, are invited to make submissions on proposals, it is completely inappropriate that race-based organisations will be given privileged status on panels.”

The bill streamlines the consent process for major projects, with expert panels assessing project viability. Newman says the bill further specifies panel members have an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi, its principles,  and an understanding of tikanga Māori and matauranga Māori.

“For a Government committed to equal rights that has pledged not to advance policies ‘that ascribe different rights and responsibilities to New Zealanders on the basis of race’, including iwi appointees on panels represents a gross betrayal.

Nor is it acceptable for this legislation to include any reference to Treaty “principles” given the Coalition’s commitment to remove them from legislation,” she says. 

For Newman, the overarching question remains: Will the Coalition uphold their promises of equality and democratic restoration, or succumb to influences favouring race-based privileges?

Read more over at NZCPR

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