Industry bodies should not compel Treaty worship

Hobson’s Pledge report:

Janet is a dedicated real estate agent with more than 30 years experience, but the Real Estate Authority is threatening to cancel her licence for five years. Why? Because Janet is taking a principled stance in refusing to complete an online training course instructing real estate agents on te reo Māori, tikanga, and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Her refusal is based on concerns that an industry body can force members to complete training on a subject only very peripherally connected to their job under threat of losing their right to work. It is also a key concern to Janet that the online training course Te Kākano is a singular perspective of the subject matter when there is much variance in opinion and understanding within iwi, Māoridom, and New Zealanders.

This is a matter of personal and professional autonomy and diversity of opinion.

Janet is seeking to challenge REA’s power to impose compulsory courses via a judicial review in the High Court. The review could serve as a critical tool in addressing the overreach by other professional organisations who force diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training on workers via mandates.

Many industry bodies are doing this, using their regulatory power to enforce compulsory education of a particular viewpoint on their members.

Frankly any industry body that does this should lose their legislative authority to regulate their industry and have their functions handed over to a new organisation who will not try to politically indoctrinate their members.

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