WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand political party Te Pati Maori on Monday asked Maori across the country to protest against the incoming government and its policies, with demonstrations planned across the country’s North Island on Tuesday.
Te Pati Maori said in social media posts on Monday that the protests in cities and urban centres would take aim at plans to reinterpret New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi.
The planned protests coincide with the opening of New Zealand’s parliament. A new centre-right government of the National Party, New Zealand First and ACT New Zealand was elected last month, and the three parties' coalition agreement outlines plans to wind back policies that acknowledge the Maori as the country’s first people and make up for the wrongs of colonization.
The most controversial aspect would introduce a bill that reinterprets the principles of the treaty, which outline the need for the government to partner with Maori, protect Maori resources and address the impact of colonization.
Te Pati Maori said the planned protests were about asserting the power of the treaty, called Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Maori, as “enduring and everlasting”.
(Reporting by Lucy Craymer. Editing by Gerry Doyle)