1 Aug 2016

Māori Party refuses to support Helen Clark's UN bid

9:09 pm on 1 August 2016

The Māori Party says it can't support Helen Clark's bid to head the United Nations because of the way she treated Māori when Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Miss Clark, who now heads the United Nations Development Programme, hopes to become the next secretary-general of the world body.

But Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox said Helen Clark had a poor track record when it came to respecting the rights of indigenous people.

"The Labour Party refused to sign the Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is a part of the UN agenda.

The Labour Party in its time saw the Tuhoe raids and of course also there is the Foreshore and Seabed amendment which took the rights of Māori away to go to court."

Ms Fox said someone seeking the top role at the United Nations should be able to acknowledge their past mistakes and apologise for them.

But Labour says the Māori Party's refusal to support Helen Clark in her bid to head the United Nations stinks.

Labour Party Andrew Little said Labour had apologised for the raids and the legislation and the Māori Party's stance was disappointing.

"This is an opportunity for New Zealand to have the leading role, the prestigious role and Helen Clark Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years, someone who's made a huge contribution to New Zealand, that ought to be recognised."

Mr Little said he would have thought her appointment would help all New Zealand, including all Māori.

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