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Maori Party misguided on Zimbabwe

6 July 2005

Maori Party misguided on Zimbabwe

The Green Party is extremely disappointed about the position the Maori Party is taking on the Zimbabwe crisis.

"I'm appalled that Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples has become an apologist for the Mugabe regime," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald says.

"There is absolutely no excuse for the deliberate campaign of genocide that Robert Mugabe is waging against his political and ethnic opponents. Of all people, the Co-Leader of the Maori Party should understand that oppression is colour blind."

Yesterday, Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples said Zimbabwe had "just been sort of released from colonisation, trying to find their own feet and it's going to take a bit of tough and tumble before they do find the way".

Mr Donald says: "I fully accept Pita Sharples' comment that the media can play a very powerful role in whether or not human rights abuses are highlighted, wherever they occur.

"We certainly shouldn't ignore the plight of oppressed people just because they do not feature on our television screens. But neither should we deny or diminish the tragedy unfolding in Zimbabwe just because it is on the 6 o'clock news."

ENDS

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