Green leaders: More Te Tiriti-centric approaches needed

By Whatitiri Te Wake

A New Zealand with a thriving environment and a healthy people is the dream for the Greens co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw, who say that the only way to achieve that is through te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Davidson says one of their recent successes is launching the national plan to tackle family and sexual violence, Te Aorerekura. The strategy was explicit in mentioning that colonisation and racism are the main drivers in violence statistics

“We have to have a strategy that is Tiriti -centred and whānau and community-led because it's the only way we will reduce and eliminate violence.”

The Greens have spent the past year working under a cooperation agreement with the Labour government, Shaw is certain that the relationship doesn't mean they're silenced on the big issues.

“It does allow our non-executive members the ability to continue to speak out and campaign on issues that are important for the Greens that are outside of the cooperation agreement.”

Reflecting on the vaccination rollout, Davidson says more tailored support is urgently required.

“We want to see a more urgent response to Māori providers for Covid. We want to prioritise keeping borders to make sure our vaccine rates in Maori regions and communities come up to an equity rate.”

The goal post that does not shift is the Green Party’s commitment to the taiao.

“For us to have reconnected ourselves to our responsibilities to the taiao and Papatūānuku to the point where everything we do is upholding that wellness for our mokopuna,” she said.