National | Debate

National's new 'Demand the debate' campaign's targets include Māori Wards and Māori Health Authority

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A 'Demand the debate' campaign urging the government to debate important issues that New Zealanders are "being left out of" has been launched by National Party leader Judith Collins.

Among the targets of the campaign are Māori wards, the Māori Health Authority and 'separate justice systems, RMA rules, and electoral arrangements.'

The campaign will begin with the rollout of a series of billboards, with the first in the series focused on He Puapua, a discussion document prepared by Te Puni Kōkiri.

“The Labour Government continues to make policy announcements that were never campaigned on and will have a significant impact on New Zealanders," Collins said in a statement Sunday.

“From the Car Tax, cancelling promised infrastructure projects, the $785m Auckland cycle bridge, rushed law changes to deliver Māori wards, to the hastily announced oil and gas exploration ban; New Zealanders are starting to feel left out."

The National Party leader said she is contacted by thousands of Kiwis every week "worried they just don’t have a say in the future of their country anymore."

"So today, we launch the first in a series of billboards on important issues that Kiwis deserve to have their say on.

“The first campaign relates to the Government’s 2019 He Puapua report. Kiwis were never told about it at the time and it was never campaigned on by Labour," Collins said.

“The He Puapua report contains recommendations for fundamental changes to our legal, constitutional, and democratic governance arrangements. Changes like separate health and justice systems, separate RMA rules, and separate electoral arrangements. These proposals must be taken to an election so all Kiwis can have their say.

“While they claim publicly it’s not their policy, the Labour Government has already started to implement large parts of He Puapua like Māori Wards and a Māori Health Authority, without the wide-ranging public debate that these changes deserve."

Collins said the Labour government did not have a mandate for these 'ideological' policies.

“The Government’s parliamentary majority is not a mandate for Labour to promote their ideological wish list. New Zealanders deserve a say on their country’s future and together we must demand the debate.”