Australia will now officially back the UN declaration on indigenous rights, which it voted against in 2007.
This is good news. Whatever you think of the UN, protecting and empowering indigenous peoples is great work. It's good for everybody because diversity is our strength.
Australia was one of just four countries to vote against the declaration when the UN's General Assembly adopted it in September 2007, along with the United States, New Zealand and Canada.
Thats right we didn't vote for it, why you might ask? Parekura Horomia said at the time the NZ was well advanced in indigenous rights and we had the Treaty to sort things out. Hmmm not so sure about that.
So the Aussies are signing up, do we really believe that the USA under Obama won't also join, not sure about the Canadians but as Aroha Mead said on the radio, it is quite possible that NZ will be the LAST country to back this declaration.
John Key has said in questions in the House that he wants to wait to see what the Aussies say on Friday. Ummmmm can't we make up our own minds John? Why do we have to wait for the Aussies, you lead our Government and you are working with the Maori Party, in fact they Ministers in your own Government! Why not ask them? Well they do have a view and as you would expect:
31 March 2009 - The co-leaders of the Maori Party are welcoming news that Australia will soon sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and they believe New Zealand should move very quickly to do the same.
"In fact," says Dr Pita Sharples, "It is a blot on the history of our country that the previous Labour-led government didn't sign the Declaration."
"We said so at the time and we believe the new government must now move swiftly to sign. It is the right thing to do." http://www.voxy.co.nz/
So I'm not sure what the holdup is. Is it true that maori are celebrated as indigenous people in this country or is the truth a little less than that.