Thursday, April 12, 2018

Brian Arrandale: Ethnic Rights and the UN Declaration

The prime reason for Local Government New Zealand is so insistent in its desire to give Maori special non voting privileges for appointment onto Local Bodies, is that it can refer to the fact that since this country signed the U.N. Declaration on Indigenous Rights it is an ethnic right.

Also Parliament itself continues on this pathway of appeasement and promotion of an elite Maori Tribal dictatorship outside our common law. We have already seen efforts to promote this apartheid divide in the re-writing of the Treaty and in future demands.

It goes back to when former Prime Minister John Key’s acceptance and signing on our behalf, of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This was a Constitutional issue completed without reference, of any kind of vote or referendum, by the people. 

It was one in which Parliament voted for, dismissing the democratic right of what we the people of this country, thought or desired. It is not the first time that our Parliamentarians have blatantly ignored the democratic process. Our Parliamentarians also totally ignored the majority vote against the infamous Smacking Bill.

Agree or disagree? Under Articles 25 to 29 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ask yourself this further question: Have we who constitute the majority in New Zealand still got equal RIGHTS? 

Extracts from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - t
his was signed by the Government of New Zealand without recourse to the people, and gives one ethnic group more privileges that the majority:

Article 25

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

Article 26

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.

3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 27

States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoples’ laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process.

Article 28

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.

2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.

Article 29

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. 

3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.

Brian Arrandale is a keen scholar and writer with a background in farming and management.

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