Topic: Indigenous

Tuhoe leaves lasting impression on Canada's Justice Minister

By Oriini Kaipara

Bay of Plenty iwi, Tuhoe have left a lasting impression on Canada's first female, indigenous Justice Minister and Attorney General.

The honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould  visited the tribe's headquarters in Taneatua today.

The lead attorney of Canada has made her way to Tuhoe country to learn the absolute truth of its people.

Jody Wilson-Raybould says she wanted to, “hear about their journey, about their experiences both good and bad with the Crown and how that’s evolved over time.”

Tamati Kruger outlined the tribes journey saying, “There are times when things are trying and difficult”

Tame Iti of Te Komiti o Runga o Tuhoe says, “We've created our own structures that aren't based on what others are doing but what is true to our people and uniquely Tuhoe.”

It's a path the tribe's been carving for the last four years, since settling their Treaty claims, which is why our Attorney General Chris Finlayson was keen to bring his Canadian counterpart, Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, to Tuhoe today.

Chris Finlayson says, “it’s such an important settlement in the life of the country, and because of the innovative approach in the life of Te Urewera, which has actually got a lot of interest overseas.”

Kruger says, “her key question was, how can the law and lore work cohesively? That's what she and her Ministers want to learn from us because we're the first in the world to achieve that.”

A large part of Min. Wilson-Raybould's visit is to gain insight into New Zealand's justice system. At this moment she's conducting a review into Canada's justice system where there's an over representation of indigenous people imprisoned.

She says, “All of our public mandate letters say that the most important relationship to our government and to Canada is the one with indigenous peoples and how we’re going to move forward as a country is to ensure that we create a space for indigenous peoples to succeed.”

The Minister is only visiting two tribes while here on her week-long visit to New Zealand; Tuhoe and Ngai Tahu. 

She departs with her entourage to Christchurch later this evening.

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