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Ed Sheeran

Reti defends Puapua panic

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National Party deputy leader Shane Reti says the party’s attack on a government report is a legitimate call for a debate.

At the Auckland regional conference on the weekend, leader Judith Collins said the He Puapua report on possible responses of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People was being used to set up a two systems approach to New Zealand's governance by stealth.

The report, which has still not been considered by Cabinet, was ordered in 2019 by then-Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

The John Key-led National Government signed New Zealand up to the declaration under pressure from its Māori Party coalition partner, but did nothing to implement it.

Dr Reti denies it is now race-baiting.

"This should be a national conversation, not obscured as a document produced in 2019 for Nanaia Mahuta and the team, quietly kept there while parts are implemented, then suddenly it all appears and it all seems quite a surprise. I think it is a conversation now we know what's in that document and what the proposal is to 2040, let's have that national conversation, let's discuss it and see what can be made of it," he says.

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