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Who's afraid of the big, bad hui?

Who's afraid of the big, bad hui?

Green MP Metiria Turei is calling on senior Government ministers to front-up at the national hui in Blenheim on Saturday, or admit that their much-hyped consultation process was nothing but a sham.

"Helen Clark and Michael Cullen claim they want feedback from Maori on their plan to eliminate ancestral claims to the foreshore and seabed, " said Metiria, the Green Maori Affairs spokesperson. "So is it fear or is it arrogance that's keeping them away from Omaka Marae on Saturday?"

"It is hypocritical for the Government to talk so loudly about consultation and then shoehorn the entire process into little more than a month and refuse to meet Maori at any meeting but the ones they organise.

"This is a major, major issue with ramifications that will reverberate for generations. It should not be and cannot be rushed through to suit the Government's electoral timetable.

"As a Party, we believe that customary title and public access are not mutually exclusive but ultimately Maori rights are about a share in decision making. There needs to be a shift in Government attitude beyond 'consultation' - which allows Maori views to be ignored in the end - to shared decision making."

"There will be a Green presence at all eleven hui the Government is organising, but there will also be a Green presence at the hui and public meetings being organised by ordinary Maori and pakeha. If the Government's sincere about listening to the people, then I'd expect to find Helen and Michael sitting alongside me."

Metiria will be attending the National Hui on the foreshore and seabed issue at Omaka Marea on Saturday.

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