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Special Rapporteur Report Disappointing – Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

04 April 2006
Media Release

Special Rapporteur Report Disappointing – Peters

The contents of the UN Special Rapporteur's Report on Indigenous Issues in New Zealand show that he had spent very little time in New Zealand, had a preconceived agenda and was particularly selective about who he spoke to and more importantly who he actually listened to, says Foreign Affairs Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters.

"Dr Stavenhagan has chosen not to correct many of the factual errors pointed out to him by the government, particularly in relation to the Seabed and Foreshore Act," Mr Peters said.

"It is also sad that the unique and complex social reality in New Zealand, including the high proportion of intermarriage between Maori and other ethnicities, was ignored as a result of a rigid ideological approach far removed from the reality of most New Zealanders.

"The Special Rapporteur has chosen not to provide meaningful historical context to his report – which would have highlighted that New Zealand has been confronting and resolving, in a non-violent and constructive way, many of the issues he has raised.

"For example, his proposal that the Treaty of Waitangi should become part of New Zealand's constitutional framework was considered by Maori leaders such as Sir Apirana Ngata, who rejected this proposition over 60 years ago.

"Solutions to the issues we confront will not come out of fleeting overseas 'experts' visits with entrenched ideological views. Unfortunately, when you choose to only listen to the disgruntled, negativity is what you will get. Fortunately, there are those who actually live here in New Zealand who believe in constructive long term engagement to provide lasting solutions. On this the future of our race relations depends," concluded Mr Peters.


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