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Mäori comment on Privy Council plan
18 April 2002
Two Maori lawyers are signalling some disappointment with the Government plans to abolish appeals to the Privy Council, and, instead, set up a new Supreme Court in New Zealand to handle those cases.
Denese Henare says Maori had two main concerns in the past about the proposal to bypass the Privy Council. One concern was that such a move would cut the links with the sovereign - and the other concern was that a final arbiter should have some international element.
She says the first concern is no longer a major issue but the second issue is still seen as crucial.
Moana Jackson shares that view and argues there'd be benefits in a court that included overseas indigenous expertise.
He's disappointed that in the Government's consultation process there's been the usual tendency not to hear or respond to Maori concerns.
And he's also critical that this judicial reform is isolated from any constitutional issues, and from any questions about an appropriate political process for New Zealand.
© Mana News service http://www.manaonline.co.nz/