Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson has dared the incoming National-led Government on its stance on the Treaty of Waitangi as she promises the new Opposition parties would advocate for Māori.
“Just try and come for the Treaty, just try,” she said in a message to the still-to-be-formed Government.
Davidson’s comments came as she celebrated her party’s best election result.
She was thrilled to welcome Kahurangi Carter as the party’s 15th MP through an increased party vote, saying she “screamed and almost fell off my chair” when she found out Carter had made it.
It added to strong electorate wins in Auckland Central, Wellington Central and Rongotai which she believed made the party’s success even more pronounced.
“We blitzed them,” Davidson said of the electorates.
At the 2020 election, the Green Party won 10 seats in Parliament. It has improved that result with five extra seats this election.
She said she had contacted Te Pāti Māori’s leaders to congratulate them on winning six of the seven Māori electorates - their best result too.
Acknowledging Labour won the party vote in all seven Māori electorates, Davidson said that put Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori in a good position to advocate for Māori from Opposition.
Immediately after the election, Davidson said: “There is going to be community-led resistance and movement that the Greens will absolutely amplify.”
Likely National coalition partner Act has proposed a referendum on enshrining the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in legislation.
Sixty per cent of voters said they would back the proposal if put to them in a referendum, according to a Taxpayers’ Union-Curia Poll.
Significantly fewer voters said they wanted a referendum in the first place, with just 45 per cent saying they wanted a referendum on the idea, 25 per cent saying they opposed a referendum and 30 per cent saying they were unsure.
The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are used to apply the Treaty in a range of contemporary contexts. They are often written into legislation and are used and developed by the judiciary to interpret what the Treaty means today.
“It is really important we work with Te Pāti Māori and Labour to uphold that Te Tiriti justice aspiration, because it’s not just Māori, [it’s] our Tauiwi [non-Māori] allies too,” Davidson said.
“We will be resisting the rubbish that was being spouted by [Julian Batchelor’s] anti-co-governance tour, the anti-Tiriti tour.
“These sorts of divisive and mana-trampling conversations on Te Tiriti are absolutely about causing social unrest. We’ve seen that here and around the world. We don’t want that to happen and the only way that cannot happen is by stopping using Māori as political footballs,” she said.
It was also Davidon’s understanding the next Government wouldn’t have any MPs of Pasifika heritage.
With Carter’s inclusion, half of the Green Party’s caucus was either Māori or Pasifika.”It’s shocking, it goes to the priorities of those political parties,” Davidson said of the absence of Pasifika representation.
”But it also means [with] Teanau Tuiono and Efeso Collins [the Greens’ two Pasifika MPs], we will have the strength of our whole caucus behind them.”