Māori MPs committed to continuing Moana Jackson’s mahi

By Whatitiri Te Wake

Māori MPs across the House have mourned legal scholar Moana Jackson, some sharing their memories of the man who fought for change.

Jackson will be remembered for contributing to government policy through his research and advocacy, they say.

A former law student of Jackson's, Minister Kiritapu Allan, is one of many who were inspired and mentored by him.

Jackson was known for lobbying and criticising successive governments including this one, calling for equity and equality for  Māori,  work that Allan believes is reaching fruition.

“I think we're starting to see some of those things now through the establishment of the Māori Health Authority that is focused on equity. With respect to justice and the release of his report Ināia tonu nei on how we can improve the system, not just for Māori but for everybody,” she said.

Committed to his goals

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rāwiri Waititi today recommitted himself and Te Pāti Māori to continue to follow what Jackson strived to do as outlined in his works such as Mātike Mai (which re-imagines an inclusive constitution based on tikanga and kawa, He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni of 1835 and Te Tiriti o Waitangi of 1840) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (which led to the He Puapua paper on what co-governance could look like).

“Kua tino poua ki roto i a au, kua tino poua ki roto i te pāti Māori i tēnei wā te whakatutuki i ōna moemoeā i ōna koroingo, arā kei roto i a Matike mai tērā tūāhuatanga e whanga mai nā”

“It's really instilled in me, it's instilled in Te Pāti Māori that we will achieve what he dreamed and hoped for as found in Matike mai.

These sentiments were shared by Greens co-leader Mārama Davidson. She says the Greens' Māori/Pasefika and Tangata Tiriti caucus, Te Mātāwaka, worked closely with Jackson as recently as November last year when he provided some insight into the caucus’ discussion paper Hoki Whenua Mai. The paper outlines what the government should do to address the flaws in the Treaty settlement process.

“We are very privileged to have him generously giving us his leadership, guidance, direction, particularly on Matike Mai and He Puapua under the mahi of constitutional transformation.”

Just this week, National said that if elected, it would repeal the Māori Health Authority. However, National's health spokesperson, Dr Shane Reti, says this wasn't the only way to achieve sovereignty for Māori in health.

“We all want the ship to land in the same place, better health outcomes, better law and order, better education for Māori - what we're disagreeing on is the pathways that might get us there”