Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A revolting breach of Te Tiriti

In 2019, the Waitangi Tribunal released a preliminary report in the Wai 2575 inquiry, finding pervasive inequities in the New Zealand health system which systematically disadvantaged Māori, in breach of Ti Tiriti O Waitangi. It recommended the creation of an independent Māori Health Authority as one way of remedying these inequities. And for once, the government listened, backing the idea in a subsequent Health and Disability System Review and passing legislation to establish the Authority in 2022.

...and now, its gone, disestablished undder urgency by a racist government eager to eradicate Māori from public life. That disestablishment continues and perpetuates the Tiriti-breach the Authority was established to remedy. But on top of that, there's an extra layer of bad faith, with legislation brought forward specifically to forstall an urgent Waitangi Tribunal inquiry. Its contemptuous as well as wrong.

But "contempt for Māori" seems to be the government's primary agenda. The problem is that their very legitimacy as a state depends on Ti Tiriti. And every breach undermines that legitimacy. That has a long-term cost to Aotearoa. But as the government's climate change, infrastructure, and financial policies make clear, this government doesn't give a shit about that.