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NZ government promotes an anti-Maori world

Hone Harawira - Maori Party Member of Parliament for Tai Tokerau

Tuesday 13 December 2005

“Maori should be alarmed at the New Zealand government’s increasingly anti-Maori stance on the international stage,” said Hone Harawira, Maori Party Member of Parliament for the Tai Tokerau.

“Last week, we received a report from the American Indian Law Alliance delegation who were at the United Nations in Geneva, to advance the passage of the Declaration on the Rights of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by the Commission on Human Rights and eventual adoption by the General Assembly.

‘In that report they suggest that ‘progress is being made on self-determination’ but that ‘a few nations still seem committed to blocking the unqualified acceptance of this human right with respect to Indigenous peoples’. Two of those countries were the United States and Australia, but their positions and their opposition were not unexpected’.

“What took them by surprise though was that ‘New Zealand has taken an increasingly hostile position towards Indigenous peoples and our right to self-determination’.

“It seems that on the 6th December 2005, the representative of New Zealand said that our government would not accept self-determination as defined by the United Nations. They also suggested that internal autonomy would be a more significant option, thus limiting Maori people’s legitimate expectations of self-determination.

“Both positions limit the aspirations of all indigenous peoples, and stifle Maori hopes for progress.

“And because there are no Maori permanently based at the United Nations, the New Zealand government is getting away with these outrageous statements. It seems they are operating on two different levels - the smiling Maori face at home for the UN Rapporteur, and the angry Pakeha face overseas, telling the world that there will be no self-determination for Maori.

“There has been no consultation either with iwi, or the national Maori organisations, and I would hazard a guess that the Labour government has not even bothered to consult it’s own Maori MPs on the matter. They didn’t on the Foreshore and Seabed, and I doubt that they intend consulting with them on any other serious matters in the future.

The Maori Party rejects the New Zealand government making unilateral decisions on self-determination, and recommends that the voices of iwi and hapu must be supported to represent our positions on indigenous affairs to the international stage, to ensure that the Maori point of view is clearly presented.

ENDS

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