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Racists in denial over colonial past

Racists in denial over colonial past

An ugly side of the New Zealand psyche has been exposed in the torrent of ill-informed and racist abuse being heaped on the head of the Race Relations Conciliator, Green Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei said today.

"This week, Joris de Bres made a thoughtful and timely contribution to the debate over race relations in this country," said Metiria Turei. "It is very sad that instead of sparking the debate that he was urging, he has had to suffer ill-informed and personal abuse at the hands of a redneck minority.

"A process of conciliation can only begin when the full facts about the colonisation of this country, and its effects on the tangata whenua, are made public and understood by New Zealanders.

"The most distressing thing about the reaction to the Race Relations Conciliator's speech is that so many politicians appear to be in denial about their country's history.

"The people of Aotearoa/New Zealand have nothing to fear and much to gain from recognising and acknowledging the trauma and abuse suffered by Maori as a result of colonisation. This is not about blame or guilt, but rather acknowledgement and respect.

"The Green Party supports Mr de Bres in his efforts to raise consciousness about our past and to promote debate about our future."

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