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Maori Party Vindicated By UN Report On Foreshore

Maori Party Members feel 'Vindicated' by UN Report Findings that the Foreshore and Seabed Bill was an Act of Discrimination

Tapu Te Ranga marae, 12 March 2005

The Maori Party today endorsed the report from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, citing it as a vindication of the position that thousands of tangata whenua and others took in challenging the Crown, in response to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill.

“The actions of the Crown in confiscating our lands, and removing our rights to due process before the Court, will never be forgotten by our people,” said Tariana Turia today.

“The Maori Party will take up the recommendations of the report with the Government, as a matter of urgent priority,” stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

Maori Party environmental spokesperson, and candidate for Tainui, Angeline Greensill, said that “The Maori Party believes the statement from the UN confirms the absolute outrage tangata whenua, and many other peoples felt last year at this act of blatant discrimination”.

“Their findings that the legislation contained ‘discriminatory aspects against the Maori, in particular in its extinguishment of the possibility of establishing Maori customary title over the foreshore and seabed’ is an indictment on the Labour Government” said Ms Greensill.

“The timing of this statement of international shame, is bitterly ironic at a time when this same Government is encouraging overseas investors to explore and mine the mineral wealth of the foreshore of the West Coast, through the so called Project All Black. Our deepest suspicions about the real motive behind the Crown confiscation have been realized”.

Project All-Black involves an application from a Chinese company which wants to mine the seabed from Taranaki to the Kaipara Harbour, earning the Government tens of millions of dollars in taxes and royalties, and will erode lands, at a significant rate.

“This is another example of a Government that puts economic interests ahead of sustaining the ecological balance of our environment and of fulfilling obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi”, stated Ms Greensill.

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