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Greens in support of Race Relations Commissioner

Attention Editor

This is an open letter from the Green Party MPs to the Race Relations Commissioner offering the Party's support for the issues raised in his recent speech. Please feel free to either publish in full or quote from.

This letter was faxed to the Commissioner's office at 4pm this afternoon.


6 December 2002

Joris de Bres Race Relations Commissioner

Tënä koe e te kaikawe I te punga o tënei waka,

The Greens extend to you our support at this challenging time. We understand the purpose of your speech and endorse your right, indeed responsibility to raise the issues that you did. In our view you were simply encouraging New Zealanders to think about and consider our own colonial history in an open way.

We are similarly distressed that it remains so difficult to talk openly about our history in this country. Mäori cultural values are readily criticised but a public assessment of the facts of our colonial past is considered divisive.

We believe that until there is a willingness to address the wounds of the past we cannot move forward as a nation. This will require all New Zealanders acknowledging our history, without guilt, but with a genuine understanding of the provisions of Te Tiriti O Waitangi and a respect for different cultural values.

We wish to reaffirm our support for you in the position of Race Relations Commissioner and your raising of these sorts of issues.

Na Mätou

Signed: Jeanette Fitzsimons Rod Donald Metiria Turei Nandor Tanczos Sue Kedgley Sue Bradford Keith Locke

The Greens

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