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'Foreshore deal a sham charade' says Turia

“What’s the problem, Parekura?” asked Mrs Turia

Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Tuesday 5 February 2008

Today marks another path down the Crown’s confiscation journey says Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“I wonder exactly what problem Parekura was referring to when he described the Foreshore and Seabed Act as a “solution to a long-standing problem which can take us forward as a country?”

“Why was the government so fearful of iwi, specifically Ngati Apa, going through a just and transparent process before the Maori Land Court?” said Mrs Turia. “Was the problem ‘iwi’ or the objectivity of the Maori Land Court?”

“Does he see Maori aspirations for self-determination in relation to foreshore and seabed as a “long-standing problem”? asked Mrs Turia.

"Or is the problem more that Maori just will not accept the Crown's Foreshore and Seabed Act and its confiscatory intent - an intent noted by the UN Special Rapporteur when he stated that the Act “extinguished all Maori extant rights to the foreshore and seabed"?

“Perhaps the bigger headache for this Government is that they just do not want to comply with international law or the findings of the Court?”

“Today’s ‘Heads of Agreement’ is simply part of the ongoing saga of Governments who are happy to over-ride due process as well as fail to respect the kaitiakitanga rights of whanau and hapu over foreshore and seabed areas”.

“Who would ever have had the audacity to think that the Crown would deem the proud people of Ngati Porou as having to be subservient to the Government’s exercise of power, and seek a territorial right?”

“The boundaries from Potikirua through to Te Toka a Taiau existed before this Government, and long after this Government or any Government has gone” said Mrs Turia.

“The rangatiratanga of their hapu is intact – the mana rests with them – and they have never needed the patronage or permission of the Crown despite the sham charade of today’s Government imposed deal” said Mrs Turia.

“Despite any deal that is currently struck, we will still be advocating for the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and during the select committee process, we will encourage the marae and the hapu of Ngati Porou to vigorously participate”.

“We believe that coastal marae and coastal hapu of Ngati Porou have been subjected to the ultimate act of Government paternalism” said Mrs Turia.

“A number of marae and hapu representatives have approached the Maori Party expressing their disappointment at the government’s continued efforts to enforce the 2005 legislation” said Mrs Turia.

“There are obviously Government initiated divisions amongst the peoples of Ngati Porou, divisions which will always hinder Maori development”.

“The principle of due process remains paramount” said Mrs Turia. “The issue originally blew up because the Court of Appeal said Ngati Apa could go to the Maori Land Court to have their title verified, and the Government couldn’t run to their lawyers fast enough, to intervene”.

“In passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the Government overturned due process for Maori” said Mrs Turia. “They could not accept the far-reaching findings of the Court of Appeal, that the Maori Land Court had the jurisdiction to investigate title to the foreshore and seabed”.

“Tangata whenua recall it took only a matter of days before Labour appealed the decision, stating that it would pass legislation to take away from Maori the right to claim ownership that the Courts had confirmed”.

“We will never give up the fight, to restore to tangata whenua, the right of due process” said Mrs Turia. “In repealing the Act, our Bill will allow Maori to go to the Court to have their title to the foreshore and seabed verified”.


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