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Maori Oppose Tamihere's Opinions

Maori Oppose Tamihere's Opinions

Maori are today outraged at statements made by MP John Tamihere that Mäori do not have rights to foreshore and seabed. Speaking to the media before departing the country Tamihere remained firm in his belief that the government should seek ownership of New Zealand's foreshore and seabeds and that the seabeds and foreshore remained the right of all New Zealanders. In response activist Ken Mair today said

"It is not for John Tamihere to determine what is best for Maori. That is for marae, whanau and hapu. Mr Tamihere's comments are his personal beliefs but they do not represent the thousands of Maori including his own colleagues who are opposing any such action by the Government."

Tamihere agreed that Maori would not be happy with his comments jokingly adding that only the National Party would find comfort in his words. Mair today likened Tamihere's comments to those of a good Labour party MP but a disillusioned Maori.

"Tamihere's grandstanding and while he'll receive reward from his party leader he won't receive support from his people. If that is John's believe than I challenge him to stand in a general electorate seat as he doesn't represent the overwhelming opinion of his people."

Mair also stated that Maori would send a clear message to the Government against legislating away Maori rights to the foreshore and seabeds from a national Maori hui to be held in Paeroa.

"Helen Clark and Margaret Wilson will be left in no doubt that John Tamihere's opinions are at odds with Maori. We will not relinquish our rights nor will we allow the Government to steal them through legislation."

In a statement released last week Maori activists threatened to prevent Department of Conservation staff from accessing their local foreshore and seabeds while Maori rights were in jeopardy.

A National Maori hui is to be held this week in Paeroa where concerned Maori will meet to plan opposition to Government threats to legislate for foreshore and seabed ownership.

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