Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson is urging like-minded New Zealanders to embrace - and not let scaremongering political rhetoric get in the way of - adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples blueprint.
Jackson said this was a special moment in our nationhood. The declaration adopted by John Key's government in 2010 but implemented only now by Labour sets out a broad range of rights and freedoms, including improving Māori outcomes.
The draft plan moved a step closer this week after completing consultation with Māori.
Jackson said 70 engagement workshops - mainly via video conferencing - included iwi, hapū, tāngata whaikaha Māori (disability community), rangatahi, and Maori health, education, and environmental interest groups.
"No Kiwi should fear the declaration or co-governance, co-management or good faith attempts to live up to the promise of the Treaty because we are all made richer by the experience," he said.
"I want to talk about the values and ideas that are shaping our response because the forces of fear and disinformation are attempting to burn bridges before we've had a chance to build them.
"Māori Treaty rights are about equality, not superiority."
The declaration draft will be written in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum's Pou Tikanga and the Human Rights Commission over the next couple of months. That document will then be shared for public consultation later this year.
"All New Zealanders will get the chance to comment on the range of actions proposed in the draft declaration plan. There is already a lot of mahi across government under way that is consistent with the declaration, but having a plan sets a roadmap of actions to steadily work towards," Jackson said.
He said He Puapua was not the declaration plan, nor is it government policy.
"Reports like He Puapua and Matike Mai are part of a long history of reports on addressing indigenous rights in Aotearoa and should be seen in that context.
"It's not just about co-governance either. There are many ways we can strengthen indigenous rights here and achieve better outcomes for all.
"We've already made positive strides to improve Māori health and housing outcomes.
"Working in partnership on a declaration plan that strives for a more equitable reality for all whānau and communities is an important kaupapa, which I believe New Zealanders will be proud to be a part of.
"All my life, I have sought to work with anyone and everyone to advance the interests of all Māori and all working-class people because when Māori and working-class people succeed in New Zealand, then New Zealand succeeds."