Many people in New Zealand are angry and are protesting against the new government’s plans to change laws that helped Indigenous people.
The new Prime Minister, Chris Luxon, and his government want to change the agreement with the Indigenous people and use less of their language.
Māori leaders say the three-party coalition is against Māori people.
However, the government has stated that it is dedicated to making things better for both Māori and non-Māori.
The new leaders of the coalition government said they don’t want to separate the country by race, and they want to look at the affirmative action policies.
On Tuesday, about 300 cars blocked roads in Auckland during protests, and police arrested two people.
Protesters also marched in Wellington and many other cities.
The leaders of the Maori political party called for protests on the first day of parliament’s meeting since the election in October.
The National party won the most votes, but they needed help from two smaller right-wing parties to run the government in New Zealand.
The new government was just started last week after more than a month of deciding on rules. Some experts think that the smaller political parties have made the main party become more conservative.
“Mr Luxon said that people may think many different things about us, including me. ” “I want to show what I want to happen in this country: more togetherness, everyone being successful, and better results. ”
A lot of Māori people are upset about the idea of changing the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is an important document in New Zealand.
The treaty is a very important document for the country. It was signed by British people and Māori leaders. It explains the rights of Māori people, how resources are shared, and gives them political power.
The old government’s ideas about its principles have caused the country to struggle with the harm of colonization. Some of the new leaders said this had gone too far during the election.
The new government wants to shut down the Māori Health Authority, called Te Aka Whai Ora, which was started by Jacinda Ardern’s Labour government. They also want to change the names of some departments from Māori to English.
Last week, it also said it will get rid of the country’s strict smoking ban in order to pay for lower income taxes. Health experts are very unhappy about the decision. They think it will be bad for Māori people, who smoke more than other people.
A national Maori health organization, Hapai Te Hauora, said it was very bad for the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
The Māori people are still not doing as well as other people in things like health, money, education, and being in jail or dying. People live seven years longer on average.
Rawiri Waititi, who helps lead the Te Pāti Māori Party in New Zealand, said the government’s new policies are like going back to the 1800s. The Te Pāti Māori Party now has six out of 123 seats in Parliament.
Mr Waititi said our protest today got our people going.
Former Prime Minister Chris Hipkins also said that Maori progress is going backwards by three or four decades, which is bad.
Critics are upset that the new government wants to change important environmental and safety laws that were made during Ms Ardern’s time in office.
The new government wants to allow offshore gas and oil exploration again and change the gun laws that were made stricter after the Christchurch terrorist attack in 2019.