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Forehore Bill And Minister of Maori Affairs

Minister of Maori Affairs fails to retract his statement against the foreshore and seabed bill

Thursday 17 November 2005

On the first anniversary of the passing of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the Minister of Maori Affairs was unable to support the Act as contributing to Maori development.

When asked in the House, will he retract his statement that "the Government is focused on Maori development, if you do not include the foreshore and seabed?", Parekura Horomia responded 'No'.

"Parekura confirmed today, what tangata whenua throughout Aotearoa have consistently expressed" said Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party "He recognises the disastrous impact the Foreshore and Seabed Act has had on Maoridom".

"It was also clear to the House, that the Minister could not remember what he had said on Te Karere when he referred to 'The strength of Mäori here is in trying to rectify or fix up what tauiwi have done?" [Te Karere, Tuesday 15 November].

"When I asked the Minister what tauiwi he was referring to, Parekura was unable to answer" said Dr Sharples.

Later today, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, arrives in New Zealand, following the decision from a United Nations human rights body that the Foreshore and Seabed Act discriminates against Maori.

"The UN committee had also recommended that the New Zealand Government should resume dialogue with Maori regarding the legislation, and to make amendments to the legislation where necessary" stated Dr Sharples.

"Today's answers from the Minister of Maori Affairs indicate the Government better consult its own Maori members first" said Dr Sharples "because there is a simmering resentment of having to 'put right' the wrongs of their tauiwi caucus".


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