Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has today congratulated Prime Minister-Elect Jacinda Ardern on her election success and welcomed the announcement of the Labour-New Zealand First-Green Government Ministerial line-up.
Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair said those appointed to Ministerial roles would provide a much-needed boost of new energy across a range of portfolios significant to the ongoing growth and success of Māori.
“We’re pleased to see the Government recognise the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations role by appointing Andrew Little, one of Labour’s most senior figures.
“Mr Little’s background in the labour industry means he will take a fair approach to negotiations. He and Attorney-General David Parker will bring a fresh pair of eyes, which will help the new government form a better approach to the issue of overlapping claims.”
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei was also looking forward to working with Kelvin Davis in his new role as Minister for Crown/Māori Relations.
“We commend the Government on acknowledging the need to develop its relationship with iwi in a post-Treaty settlement environment,” Mr Blair said.
“We see Mr Davis’ appointment as an excellent step in demonstrating that the relationship with the Crown and iwi does not stop once a settlement is signed. In fact, it’s in this post-settlement environment that the relationship should be at its strongest, given the huge opportunities for Māori and the Crown to work closely together.”
Mr Blair said that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has several initiatives it intends to share with members of the new Government.
“We’ll be visiting Nanaia Mahuta pretty soon to discuss how we can work collaboratively with both the Minister and her colleagues. We want to contribute to the ongoing development of Māori, not just in Tāmaki Makaurau but across Aotearoa,” he said.
“This includes exploring with Phil Twyford and Jenny Salesa how we can help address the housing challenge – not just through building houses but by providing a pipeline of young people in Auckland keen to learn the skills required to grow the country’s housing stock.”
Mr Blair said that more broadly Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei was impressed with the initiatives the new Government had promoted in the transport and infrastructure sector, including reviewing the East/West Link and assessing the prospect of shifting the Ports of Auckland.
“Looking at the policy platform the new Government has outlined, we’re excited by how we can work in partnership to bring these policies to life and we look forward to kanohi ki te kanohi discussions with the Government in the months ahead on the role Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will play.”