Canada's commitment to indigenous people an example for NZ

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Labour MP Peeni Henare says New Zealand and Australia should follow the Canadian government's lead and pay more attention to the rights of indigenous people. Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has allocated an unprecedented $8.4bil over five years to addressing the needs of first nation’s peoples.

Henare recommends New Zealand follow Canada's lead in this Truth and Reconciliation report, which refers to Canada's commitment to the rights of their indigenous people.

“The Waitangi Tribunal should make final decisions like Canada's Truth and Reconciliation committee.”

In 2008, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee was established to guide and inspire a process of truth and healing leading toward reconciliation within aboriginal families, and between aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities.

Henare says, “Here in New Zealand, we have the Waitangi Tribunal but the difference with Canada is the government is true to its word on issues pertaining to the committee.”

Just recently Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allocated an unprecedented $8.4bil to indigenous peoples in the government's 2016 budget.

“No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with first nations,” says Trudeau.

“What Canada has implemented is an example of what all countries around the world should follow,” says Henare.

The Assembly of First Nations has called the Canada government's move a significant step in closing the gap in the quality of life for First Nations peoples and Canadians.