New Zealand’s Failed Experiment Highlights Voice To Parliament Dangers

Written by:
14 February 2023
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“New Zealand’s failed Māori Voice to Parliament, the Waitangi Tribunal, which the Prime Minister held up as a model for Australia, has imposed dangerous policies that puts a person’s race above all other considerations in government decision making,” said John Storey, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs

A new research report from the IPA, New Zealand’s Māori Voice to Parliament and what we can expect for Australia, analyses the case history of the Waitangi Tribunal, the New Zealand equivalent to the proposed Voice to Parliament, and reveals the practical consequences of race-based constitutional change.

The analysis identifies five key lessons from the Waitangi Tribunal’s history that will apply to Australia if we follow New Zealand’s path:

  1. The Voice would promote policies which compromise community safety, through race-based policing which is soft on violent crime.
  2. The Voice would demand preferential access to critical government resources which puts race ahead of need.
  3. The Voice would threaten the rights of Australians to use and enjoy national cultural symbols.
  4. The Voice would have an explicit veto power over certain legislation and that there would be some laws that only the Voice could even suggest reforms to.
  5. The Voice would have an almost limitless scope in relation to issues it can be involved in.

On 6 February 2020, Anthony Albanese posted on Twitter: “We can learn a lot from our mates across the ditch about reconciliation with First Nations people. New Zealand has led the way. It’s time for Australia to follow. It’s time to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart.”

“The Prime Minister has long known the consequences of the New Zealand experiment, yet he has not been up front with Australians on the effect the proposed Voice to Parliament will have on their lives and our nation,” said Mr Storey.

“The Waitangi Tribunal and race-based co-governance is now a deeply entrenched part of New Zealand’s legal and political architecture, which has been weaponised by activists at the expense of New Zealanders.”

This report builds on the landmark report released by the IPA in December 2022, which assessed New Zealand’s Waitangi Tribunal and Australia’s history of judicial activism to reveal how the history of race-based constitutional change in New Zealand would shape Australia’s future.

“This analysis adds to the large and growing body of domestic and international evidence that shows the proposed Voice to Parliament will be more divisive than its proponents, including the Federal Government, are willing to admit,” said Mr Storey.

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