4 Jul 2011

Crown needs to change, says Tribunal

2:58 pm on 4 July 2011

The Waitangi Tribunal says New Zealand cannot carry on allowing Māori to be perceived as a problematic and resented minority.

In its report on the Wai 262 claim, the Tribunal says the Crown must create a true partnership with Maori and recommends change and power-sharing at Government department level.

Tribunal director Catherine Nesus says the Māori population is growing, iwi are seeing economic renewal as claims are settled and change is inevitable.

She says all of those things mean that New Zealand is going to look different in 2040 from New Zealand now and the Crown has to get ready for that change.

She adds that the Crown has to become more Maori in its outlook, and can no longer view Maori culture as 'other'.

In the Wai 262 report, the Waitangi Tribunal warns Te Reo is in danger of dying out and needs Crown support.

A Taranaki orator and educator Te Huirangi Eruera Waikerepuru is applauding the Waitangi Tribunal's stand on the need to save the Maori language.

He led the successful case to the Privy Council to have Te Reo declared a taonga, or treasure.

Te Huirangi Waikerepuru says he first encountered the Crown's negligence when he was unable to sit School Certificate Maori because his school did not allow it.

He says he defaced his School Certificate English paper in protest, not realising that would limit his career prospects, and he did not become a teacher until he was 30.