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‘Government’s failure to send representative to Kingitanga hui a missed opportunity’

The Free Speech Union calls out the Government for failing to send a representative to the Kīngitanga hui this weekend and missing an opportunity to participate in an important discussion. The role of The Treaty/Te Tiriti, te reo, and race relations more generally are fraught and complex issues. Wananga and kōrero are crucial, and we commend the Kīngitanga for this kaupapa, says Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union.

“Amidst complex disagreements surrounding The Treaty/Te Tiriti, constructive dialogue is what’s needed to make a path forward. That is exactly what the Kīngitanga hui is providing at Tūrangawaewae Marae this weekend. The Government should have a representative there. It is disappointing that they declined this opportunity to participate in free speech and exchange perspectives.

“As the Government is taking a policy stance on The Treaty/Te Tiriti, they ought to embrace the challenge of hearing dissenting voices and seek to understand these with a spirit of manākitanga and kotahitanga: respect and unity, despite differences.

“The Kīngitanga’s national hui was announced in response to growing concern at the Government’s policies regarding the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. They invite all to foster dialogue and greater unity on these contentious issues.

“We support the Kīngitanga’s initiative to talk, discuss, debate, and listen and look forward to joining this hui.”


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