National President, Prue Kapua spoke to Radio New Zealand saying Maori seats decision ‘should be for Maori to say’ and institutional racism after her opening address to the 65th National Conference of the Maori Women’s Welfare League in New Plymouth.
This year’s conference has featured speeches from Her Excellency Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM Governor General of New Zealand and Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner.
Esteemed Maori lawyer Moana Jackson spoke to the conference on Thursday about Matike Mai Aotearoa which is a working group about constitutional transformation. Moana Jackson has been described by Dr. Margaret Mutu as a ‘legal philosopher’ and a ‘magnificent mind’.
This afternoon, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler will speak about ‘The Treaty and the Constitution’. On Saturday, Amiria Reriti will facilitate a panel on ‘Women as Negotiators’. The league has a number of role models in this area who were called to negotiate for their iwi, including Mahia kuia Pauline Tangiora who is set to receive the Bremen International Peace Award.
See the full 65th National Conference Aotea 2017 programme. Next year’s conference will be held in Gisborne. Women and girls 12 years and older are welcome to join the league.