12 Sep 2017

NZ First leader dismisses Waitangi Tribunal pledge

11:34 am on 12 September 2017

A New Zealand First candidate who told a public meeting in Auckland the party wants to scrap the Waitangi Tribunal has been quickly countered by her leader, Winston Peters.

No caption

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said he or his staff would be talking to the candidate about her comments "post-haste". Photo: RNZ

Kym Koloni, who is contesting the Northcote seat, said it was party policy to get rid of the Waitangi Tribunal and any references to the Treaty of Waitangi in legislation.

To cries of "backwards" and "how is that not Māori-bashing, how is that not racist", she set out a series of pledges at the candidates debate last night.

"New Zealand First wants to scrap the Waitangi Tribunal, New Zealand First want to remove Resource Management Act iwi clauses," she said.

"New Zealand First wants to remove all references to the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation.

"New Zealand First wants a binding referendum on the need for Māori seats.

"A vote for New Zealand First is a vote for a colour-blind party ... One law for one, one law for all. Unity for New Zealanders, not racist separatism."

Eliciting a chorus of "shame, shame", she finished with "vote New Zealand First for democracy and unity, we want Kiwi not iwi".

Mr Peters was not at the debate, but has dismissed Ms Koloni's comments.

He said last night that Ms Koloni's statements did not represent the party's policies, and he or his staff would be talking with her "post-haste".

She is ranked 38th on the party's list.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs