As John Key smiled and assured his National Party constituents that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is aspirational, symbolic and legally non-binding, I started to feel a little incredulous.
Key plainly has no intention of effecting any of the aspirations contained in the Declaration: he has categorically said as much. So where, I wonder, is the value in supporting the Declaration at all? It would be one thing to support it with an unconfirmed position on its practical import. But to support it with no intention of aspiring to its realisation makes a nonsense of the language of aspiration.
Key’s support for the Declaration is worse than an empty gesture. It’s a gesture filled with self-serving contempt for real recognition of indigenous rights. Shame.