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Luxon’s leadership ‘confused’ and ‘weak’ on Treaty of Waitangi amendment - Labour’s Chris Hipkins

Kelvin McDonaldMaioha Panapa

Hikpins is unimpressed by the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Labour leader Chris Hipkins claims Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is displaying “confused” and “weak” leadership after his statements at Rātana that his government will honour the Treaty of Waitangi and has no plans to revise or amend its principles.

“I think Christopher Luxon’s position here is very confused because his government, of which he is prime minister, is about to introduce legislation to parliament that would do exactly that,” Hipkins said from Waitangi.

“So him saying well we’re not going to do that, when they’re about to introduce legislation that’s going to do exactly that, I think shows very very weak leadership.

“If he doesn’t want to do that, then he should just say so now and draw a stop to it all.”

Hikpins is unimpressed by the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle which saw Act leader David Seymour appointed Associate Minister of Justice to allow him to manage the Treaty Principles Bill.

“I just think this is not the way to have this debate. There is a legitimate debate to be had around the principles of the Treaty and how our attitudes towards Te Tiriti have changed over time - how the interpretations of the different principles of the Treaty have changed over time.”

“But it can’t be the government imposing its will on all of New Zealand. Actually, there are a lot of non-Māori who have a view on this as well and they deserve to be part of this conversation.

“Not all non-Māori New Zealanders are comfortable with what David Seymour is doing. In fact, I know a lot of them who are really uncomfortable that this debate is playing out in this way,” Hipkins said.

Hero image: Chris Hipkins at Waitangi. Photo / Te Ao News

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