FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Ardern and Waitangi

We will be looking for practical ways to bring to reality increased Māori home ownership, more jobs for our rangatahi and working together on child wellbeing – in particular for tamariki. Jacinda Ardern

A fresh approach

By Roger Childs

Jacinda at Waitangi

In recent years Waitangi Day has often generated more heat than enlightenment. There has sometimes been feuding between different iwi and visiting politicians have been jostled.

Jacinda Ardern is continuing to get a good name from making smart moves. From the time she became Labour leader she has acted with dignity, thought carefully before speaking and has not allowed herself to be rattled by the media.

Confronting with the manifold issues facing the country, she has been breath of fresh air. Not least in her approach to the often contentious Waitangi Day celebrations.

 Addressing the real issues

(Credit Emmerson, NZ Herald)

By deciding to spend five days in Northland she has taken a lot of the heat out of the 6 February commemorations of the signing of the country’s founding document.

Politicians often dreaded going to the Bay of Islands at this time. She may be nervous about what she will say in her key speech tomorrow, but the new PM is not putting a foot wrong.

It is not the role of iwi to replicate the services that should be provided by the Crown. Iwi lawyer to Kathryn Ryan in 2016

Basically Ardern is saying Yes it is, but with the help of the government. (Isn’t it time to drop the constant and ridiculous reference to the Crown?)

She has quite rightly set aside the Maori desire to claim fresh water rights, and put the focus clearly on raising living standards for poorer people in the iwi.