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Ed Sheeran

Sovereignty finding sparks strong response

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Labour MP Kelvin Davis is disappointed at what he sees as a hasty dismissal by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson of a Waitangi Tribunal finding that Maori did not agree to give up sovereignty to the British Crown in 1840.

Mr Finlayson said the finding does not change the fact the Crown has sovereignty in New Zealand.

He said the Government would consider what is part one of the report into Te Paprarahi o Te Raki or Northland claims as it would any other tribunal report, but it is focused on the future and on developing and maintaining the Crown-Maori relationship as a Treaty partner.

Mr Davis says the Mr Finlayson may be trying to allay redneck fears, but he should not rush to dismiss Maori perspectives.

Green Party treaty spokesperson Catherine Delahunty says the Government needs to engage meaningfully with the finding and discuss with the tribunal its implications for the Crown.

She says the finding is positive for New Zealand and opens the door for more positive engagement on Te Tiriti and a sounder basis for redress.

But Auckland University of Technology Professor Paul Moon, who recently published a book on the treaty, says the tribunal got basic aspects on history wrong, including elevating the importance of the 1835 Declaration of Independence.


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