National is accusing Labour of trying to sneak through a divisive plan to set up separate systems for Māori at all levels – including in Parliament.
Party leader Judith Collins made the remarks in a speech to party members on Saturday in Auckland at the first of a series of regional conferences being held around the country.
Collins has doubled down on her opposition to the Government’s proposed Māori Health Authority. …
“The proposed Māori Health Authority will not only have the ability to commission its own work, but also the ability to veto decisions made by the government on general health.
“That is a veto power over $20 billion worth of government health spending.
This is what a lot of people don’t realise. It has veto over the entire health budget. An appointed body from one race will have the vet over $20 billion of health spending.
Collins acknowledged Māori suffer worse health outcomes, but said this would be best addressed by targeted programmes, like Whānau Ora, not structural change.
The fact there are unequal outcomes doesn’t mean that anything put up as a solution is a good idea.
She said National will not accept the implementation of separate entities “by stealth” and the Government’s plans are broader than just the health sector.
They could lead to separate education, justice and resource management systems based on a report called He Puapua which she described as a “divisive” document.
It also contemplates a separate Māori Parliament or upper house – able to veto any decision of the New Zealand Parliament, she said.
If anyone thinks this won’t be on the agenda one day, then just look at Maori seats on local authorities.
In the 1990s they were allowed for one Council, as they requested it. It was not meant to be generally available.
Then in the 2000s it got expanded to being available to all Councils, but with the ultimate decision being with ratepayers and residents (as should be the case with major electoral changes).
Then in 2021 they abolished the ability of residents and ratepayers to decide whether or not they wanted race based seats.
Inevitably in a few years, they will try and make them compulsory for all Councils. And already some advocate they should not be proportional to population but as a partnership, they should be 50%.