Topic: Politics

Winston Peters wants Treaty principles scrapped from RMA

By Ripeka Timutimu

Winston Peters has called for the scrapping of Treaty references in the RMA.  The leader of NZ First said last night in his State of the Nation speech, that the laws encourage separatism, but the Māori Party says Peters comments are a joke.

Winston Peters is at it again.  He says, "Māori are a part of the community not separate from the community, and when you make that mistake you're segmenting people off on the basis of race."

Last night the NZ First leader gave his "State of the Nation" speech at Ōrewa Rotary Club calling for references to the Treaty of Waitangi in the RMA to be scrapped.

"The first thing you do if you're looking at a rural setting you go and ask the local people, all of them not just say we will ask some, and have another meeting with others how does that work when you're trying to build a united country," says Peters.

The Māori Party have come out calling Peters comments a joke, with Marama Fox saying Peters has it all wrong.

She says, "Yes, his comments about the RMA are wrong.  The Treaty guarantees Māori rights over their lands, their water, their environment."

His response to that, "Well, yes some of us had to go to Law School for five years to get some understanding of the RMA so apparently Te Ururoa and Marama Fox can do it with no knowledge whatsover."

The Northland MP has in the past hit out against laws that reference the Treaty, including those that make way for the seven Māori seats in Parliament.

"When he was at Rātana he was entertaining everyone, but now we see at Ōrewa he's challenging Māori on the RMA.  So he says one thing to one group, and to Pākehā he says another," says Fox.

"The RMA wasn't the issue at Rātana, celebrating the great leader's brithday was," says Peters.

With Waitangi celebrations fast approaching, this may be another contentious issue at Te Tii Marae in two weeks time.