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Peters advised against signing declaration

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/08/2016

Winston Peters says when he was foreign minister he advised the previous Labour government against signing a UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people.

The fact it didn't sign the declaration is a key reason the Maori Party won't back former prime minister Helen Clark's bid to be the next UN secretary-general.

"Between 2005 and 2008, as foreign minister, I advised the then government against signing up to the declaration on indigenous rights," The NZ First leader said on Tuesday.

"It concerned the sovereignty of this country and we opposed New Zealand's laws being written by an international body thousands of miles away."

In 2010 the then Maori affairs minister in the current government, Pita Sharples, flew secretly to New York to sign the declaration.

Mr Peters says most Maori support Miss Clark's bid.

"From my discussions around the country Maori seriously support Helen Clark's campaign, especially in the north, as do the great majority of New Zealanders who have put aside petty politics in the nation's interest," he said.

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