Speech to the United Nation Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Māori Development


New Zealand statement to the United Nation Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Item 11: Human rights: Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Chair of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) and others 

Delivered by Honorable Nanaia Mahuta

Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori

New Zealand Minister for Māori Development 

24 April 2019

24 Paenga-whāwhā 2019 

  • Tēnā anō tātou e huihui mai nei.
  • New Zealand welcomes the opportunity in this session to reflect on the distinct but complementary roles of each of the three mechanisms.
  • Two weeks ago I was meeting with EMRIP members in New Zealand, and this week I am pleased to be engaging at the Forum.
  • In New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi, in combination with other legal and constitutional frameworks, are the foundation upon which standards for Māori engagement, and participation are based.
  • In 2017, we established the Māori Crown Relations portfolio. The creation of the portfolio signals our government’s commitment to a healthy relationship with iwi/Māori. The designation of this role will also provide greater oversight for the government’s engagement with iwi/Māori.
  • As New Zealand approaches the 10-year mark since moving to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are also turning our minds towards how we mark this in terms of New Zealand’s progress on the Declaration.
  • New Zealand is committed to upholding the rights affirmed by the Declaration, and to engaging further with the aspirations it sets forth in accordance with New Zealand's domestic legal and constitutional frameworks, including the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • This month, I announced that the New Zealand Government will work with Māori to develop a plan of action to drive and measure New Zealand’s progress towards the aspirations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • The Declaration plan reinforces our commitment to embed partnership with Māori within the work of government. Developing a Declaration plan is a significant step towards building and strengthening relationships between the Crown and Māori.
  • The Declaration plan will identify specific actions that can make real progress on the aspirations of Māori as the indigenous peoples of our country.
  • We welcomed the constructive visit by EMRIP earlier this month. I acknowledge the Independent Monitoring Mechanism and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission for inviting EMRIP to provide advice on how we develop a Declaration plan.
  • During their time in New Zealand this month, EMRIP heard our aspirations about the country we want to be, the aspirations held by both the government and Māori for a future of harmonious and cooperative relations.
  • Each of these mechanisms will support our journey to develop and, implement a Declaration plan. EMRIP’s advice will contribute to the work taking place between Māori and the government to develop proposals for a Declaration plan in 2019.
  • We are looking to formulate a roadmap that enables our Government to signpost our domestic obligations to give effect to the Treaty Settlement obligations that embody the self-determining aspirations of iwi/Māori.
  • My time at the Forum this week will also enable me to learn from other’s experience - indigenous peoples and states - in progressing the rights and aspirations in the Declaration.
  • Tēnā koutou.