New Zealand’s own Indigenous ‘Voice to Parliament’ failed to support Maori: Advocate

In a warning to Australians planning to vote on constitutional change, New Zealander Casey Costello said that the “voices to parliament” of his own indigenous peoples were not having the desired effect and became a burden on democracy. says there is.

Costello, part Māori and part Anglo-Irish, was the founder of the Hobson Covenant and the Waitangi Courts, established in 1975, to give Māori a greater voice in parliament. said it had not been successful.

“[Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese should be able] ‘Look, there are no more unemployed Māori’ or ‘Māori have the best educational outcomes in the country’, and this is a successful model and we can show that there is nothing.” She said… Epoch Times.

“He listened to the rhetoric and said, ‘Oh yeah, let’s do what they’re doing,’ and if Australia did it, we’d do better.

“Well, we don’t have that.”

In 2020, Albanese posted on Twitter that Australians “can learn a lot about reconciliation with Indigenous peoples from their peers across the ditch”.

“New Zealand has led the way. It’s time for Australia to follow,” he said. I have written.

The Albanian government has promoted an ‘indigenous voice to parliament’, which enshrines in the constitution a government-specific advisory body for indigenous Australians. The prime minister has flagged a referendum on Boyce, which will take place in the second half of 2023.

Epoch Times photo
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese walks with the Yolngu community during the Garma Festival 2022 in Gurukura, Australia, 29 July 2022. (Tamati Smith/Getty Images)

Costello also said that the identity politics that the court brought to society is stripping citizens of their national identity as the country moves from multicultural to bicultural.

“We are ‘Maori and others’…and that is really harmful,” Costello said, adding that even New Zealand’s census no longer recognizes ‘New Zealanders’ as an identity or ethnicity. rice field.

Looking backwards is an obstacle

In February, former Green Party senator Lydia Thorpe resigned from the Left Party after she disagreed with her colleagues about the best approach to indigenous representation in parliament.

This is the movement I grew up with and my elders marched for the treaty. This is who I am,” Thorpe said on Feb. 6. That’s my goal. ”

Epoch Times photo
Senator Victoria Lydia Thorpe at the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne, Australia on January 26, 2023. (AAP Image/Diego Fedele)

However, Costello thinks Thorpe’s goal of signing the treaty is headed in the wrong direction. Because, in New Zealand’s case, a mindset focused on reparations and retribution “strangled” the country from moving forward.

In New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between a Maori chief and the British royal family.

Costello said that after the treaty was signed, it became possible to form countries, laws, and parliaments.

She added that the document became “irrelevant” until New Zealand began looking back on it in the last 50 years.

“It seems silly to have a treaty after forming a nation,” she said.

“We are always looking backwards, not forwards, which is actually a roadblock for New Zealand.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Senator Lydia Thorpe’s office, but received no response.

Meanwhile, Thorpe has yet to announce her own final position on the voice, despite stepping down around the issue.

“I would like to continue negotiations with the government,” she said.

“Indigenous sovereignty is important, but today it is also important to save lives. I was able to do it.”

Thorpe has previously been critical of the Workers’ Plan to Support Voice to Congress, saying it did not help Indigenous communities.

“Workers need to stop tinkering with so-called new solutions end-to-end. We see it being done,” Thorpe said in 2022.

range will inevitably expand

The Institute of Public Affairs report emphasized that the history of the Waitangi Courts proves that the proposed voice to parliament extends to an “infinite range” of issues.

Author and Research Fellow John Story noted that the courts are deeply involved in COVID-19 health policy, international treaty negotiations, law, policy and culture.

“The potential involvement of Boyce in any or all of the laws, government programs or international agreements is fully supported by the Waitangi Court’s experience,” Story said (pdf).

“There is no law beyond its reach, no policy it does not affect, and no aspect of New Zealand culture that cannot escape its gaze.”

Costello echoed those concerns, adding that it would only add another layer of bureaucracy.

“You’re going to end it all in court. When they say it’s not legislated… the courts are exactly the same, and we’ve been going to court almost nonstop for the last 50 years.” she said.

Successful natives, play heroes

Costello criticized the highly successful Aboriginal and Maori supporters for not delivering inspirational messages to their communities on how they can be successful in life.

“They told Maori ‘the world is against you. How terrifying,” she said.

She pointed out that the number of Aborigines elected to Australia’s Senate is evidence that it was already possible to achieve merit “without a particular separatist agenda”.

Like Australia, New Zealand has a proportionately larger number of Maori parliamentarians than its population.

“I mean…if you don’t do this exception, you won’t get it done. Well, they’ve achieved it, so that’s also an insult,” Costello said.

She added that many “bleeding liberals” who endorse the voice are doing it out of “a way of duplicating guilt,” but not considering whether it will yield better results. .

“So you’re telling Australia that you haven’t heard any Aboriginal stories in the last 50 years?” she said. “Well, it doesn’t work because it’s not true. It’s not true in fundraising. It’s not true by wording.”

Victoria Kelly-Clark contributed to this report.