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The Treaty of Waitangi either grants Māori too much power or not enough

Summarised by Centrist 

Dominic O’Sullivan, an academic in political science, says Parliament’s move to disband the Māori Health Authority, circumventing a Waitangi Tribunal hearing, has ignited discussions on the Treaty’s principles and their application in modern governance.

According to Sullivan, critics contend that the vaguely defined Treaty principles, (partnership, participation, and mutual benefit, etc.) intended to ensure Māori participation and protection, lead to controversies over political rights and influence. Opinions are divided on whether these principles restrict or excessively boost Māori’s political voice.

The recent controversy surrounding the Māori Health Authority is symbolic of the ongoing struggle to balance Māori authority over their own affairs with the collective governance of New Zealand.

Sullivan suggests that instead of focusing on race or partnership, the conversation should shift towards shared citizenship and equal participation in state affairs. 

By framing legislation to support Māori rangatiratanga and ensure policies work equally well for Māori as for other citizens. 

And it would be for Māori citizens to determine what “equally well” means for them, says Sullivan. 

Read more over at The Conversation

Image: Harvey Barrison

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