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Should Ministers be compelled by the Waitangi Tribunal?

Summarised by Centrist

Stuff columnist Damien Grant takes umbrage with the Waitangi Tribunal’s ability to summon Karen Chhour on her efforts to repeal sections of the Oranga Tamariki Act. 

“We had an election. Parliament selected ministers from those elected. One of those ministers was doing her day-job of making a change to the law. Then along comes the Waitangi Tribunal and demands that the minister justify herself,” writes Grant. 

“This is not okay,” he determines. 

Grant writes that New Zealand lacks a formal constitution, but upholds foundational documents like the 1688 Bill of Rights. 

This ensures parliamentary sovereignty and protects freedom of speech in parliamentary proceedings. According to Grant: “That is the end of the matter.”

Grant references the principles of comity: “a rather awkward concept that different branches of the state should respect the other,” he writes. 

He views the challenge as ensuring laws function as intended and meet community expectations. He hopes Judith Collins, a seasoned senior minister, will rise to this challenge with the necessary determination and leadership to ensure comity is respected going forward. 

“Let us hope, despite her more restrained persona, she is still who we need her to be,” he notes. 

Read more over at Stuff

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