Marty Sharpe at Stuff reports:
Maori do not own treasures such as flora and fauna but they are entitled to a “reasonable degree of protection” over them, a landmark report from the Waitangi Tribunal says.
It also says that unless Maori are given more say on the use of their culture and taonga – as promised in the Treaty of Waitangi – they will continue to figure disproportionately in the ranks of the poor and underproductive.
The Crown “either deliberately or through neglect, has largely supported one of New Zealand’s two founding cultures at the expense of the other”, the tribunal says in a report 20 years in the making.
The report on the WAI262 claim has been described as the most important Treaty development in a generation, but its findings – made public today – are already under fire from both sides of the political spectrum, and nothing is likely to happen to it until after the general election.
Maori Party MP Rahui Katene – the daughter of one of the original WAI262 claimants – said the findings were very political, weak and had missed the point.
Sounds like the Waitangi Tribunal has got it about right, if people on both ends are upset.