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Ed Sheeran

UN 2030 Agenda fears based on nonsense

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A leading Māori demographer is pushing back at a new political party based on casting doubt on the COVID-19 public health response.

The New Zealand Public Party grew out of musician Billy Te Kahika’s viral lockdown videos questioning what people were being told about the coronavirus.

He has linked it to New Zealand signing up to United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which he says spells the end of the Treaty of Waitangi and te ao Māori.

Tahu Kukutai from the University of Waikato’s National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis says when it comes to COVID-19 advice, the Māori pandemic response group Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā was an example of the right way to make the science relevant to Māori communities.

"We know that we already have our leadership on the ground and those community groups and those hapū, iwi, marae that do the great stuff that they do so it's working alongside and not undermining with nonsense that has no evidence base to support it and I would push back strongly against people in positions of power who willingly and knowingly feed mistruths into our community," she says.

Dr Kukutai says the UN Agenda sets lofty goals like eradicating global poverty and having clean water and sanitation for all - and if there is criticism from indigenous peoples it is that it does not give them space to advocate solutions based on their own knowledge and world views.

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