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Maori Party Saddened By Political Grandstanding

Tariana Turia, co-leader, Maori Party 6 July 2005

Maori Party Saddened at Political Grandstanding

"We are disappointed at the political grand-standing and knee-jerk reactions from Labour, Greens and United Future politicians regarding our response to the political intervention surrounding the cricket tour to Zimbabwe" stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

"Our two key concerns were that we must take a consistent approach to human rights violations around the globe, including this country; and that we sought to have authentic, independent information to guide us".

"These concerns remain relevant".

"We do not resile from the fact that at the point of time of our initial release we did not have full information in order to make a decision of such political significance".

"Until this morning, we had not received any information whatsoever from the Government to assist our decision-making process. It is my responsibility as a Member of Parliament to ensure I have all relevant information in front of me to ensure decisions are well-informed and appropriate. I would hope that we would also be able to locate information from Zimbabwe's closest neighbours on the African continent".

"It is of interest that the media have not highlighted the fact of the two significant reports that we are awaiting:
- The report from the Special Envoy to the UN, Anna Tibaijuka;
- The investigation of Amnesty International special rapporteur for the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.

"We have this morning also received information from the Executive Director of Amnesty International Aotearoa which confirms that there is a 'lack of consistency in raising human rights concerns'' in New Zealand.

"We agree with the comments of the Executive Director that "'selective reference to countries' human rights records tends to undermine the credibility of the observor country and make its observations less effective in producing change".

"Until we have authoritative reports on Zimbabwe, we will be making no further comment on this situation".

ENDS

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