The UN has asked the Government to stop the development of Ihumātao. Until then, NZ is in breach of its international human rights responsibilties.
Friday was the UN-designated international day of Indigenous Peoples. However, there is no cause for celebration on Ihumātao.
In March this year, the leading UN human rights watchdogs on Indigenous peoples’ rights and housing urged New Zealand “that all necessary interim measures be taken to halt the alleged violations and prevent their re-occurrence”. This means the UN has asked the Government to stop the development of Ihumātao.
The crux of the human rights issue is that land of cultural significance to Māori (and the nation), that was confiscated from iwi, a practice universally condemned including by Government, is slated for development contrary to the free, prior and informed consent of Māori. This breaches Indigenous peoples’ human rights to their lands, territories and resources, their rights to culture, their rights to fair redress, their rights to consultation and consent and their right to self-determination. In similar cases in the Americas, an international human rights court has ordered the state to purchase the land and return it to the relevant Indigenous peoples.